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Early camping key to victory against Algeria, says Ekpo


Algerian national team

Algerian national team

• Appeals for Inclusion Of NPFL’s Players In Eagles

Former Super Eagles Midfielder, Friday Ekpo, has advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to ensure that the nation prepares well for the World Cup qualifier against the Algerians.

Nigeria currently tops Group B with three points and has the chance of going five points clear on the log above the Desert Foxes. The North Africans are rated best in Africa by FIFA. The tie fixed for November 12, will hold at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium in Uyo.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Ekpo, who said it is good the nation now has a technical adviser, said all a coach needs is a solid team.“Now that we have a technical adviser, the next thing for him is to prepare the players well for the uphill task against the Algerians.

“The coach needs good quality players, those who are doing very well in their clubs. Players that are passionate for the course of our qualification for the World Cup in Russia. And in achieving that, the NFF also needs to encourage the coach and the players by giving them the necessary support. Money should not be an issue this time around,” he said.

With the news that the Algerians have got a new coach, Belgian George Leekens, who also qualified them for the 2014 Nations Cup, and parading stars such as Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani and Yacine Brahimi, among others in their squad, the challenge looks daunting.

Speaking further, with less than 12 days to the crucial tie, the former Calabar Rovers star, said few of the quality home-based players noticed at the just concluded Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) could be part of the team.

“The NPFL just ended about three weeks ago, I still think few of the good players discovered can be drafted into the team. All the coach needs to do is to open camp early enough for these players to start training so that they can blend very well before the arrival of the professionals.

“No doubt, we need to open the camp early enough so that the players invited can adapt and perfect the strategy the coach may have for the match. Everything lays at the feet of Coach Gernot Rohr, regarding his plans for the November 12 duet,” Ekpo stated.

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