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Erico advises Rohr to pick players based on current form

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Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr before the match REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Former International, Joseph Erico is backing the Super Eagles to excel at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt even when majority of the country’s players are not plying their trade in top clubs in Europe. The tournament holds between June 21 and July.

Leagues in Europe are about rounding up and some pundits believe the fact that Nigerian players are not playing for top clubs around the world would affect the Super Eagles’ outing against teams, whose players appear regularly for some of these elite clubs.

Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Erico said, “One shouldn’t look at the consistencies of others, but what we have done, and put on ground by qualifying for the AFCON, after all we all will appear at the same tournament. For the countries that have such top players playing for top clubs, that is what they have, we cannot take what they have from them.

“In our own case we will use what we have that qualified us for the AFCON and prepare well. The coach has said we should not hope to win, but we shouldn’t go there either to make up the number.

“I know it will not be easy, but if the Eagles worked very well, since they are a young side, they can spring surprises,” he said.

The former Julius Berger of Lagos coach added, “It doesn’t matter how famous these players are since they are scattered around the world. These players we are talking about are just a few brilliant individuals in some of these big clubs, but to me it’s not a big threat.

“It doesn’t matter if our players are in less fancied clubs. I believe that any country at the AFCON in Egypt is a potential winner.”

Erico picked Ajax Amsterdam as an example of a team that have shown that big names don’t mater in football, Erico said, “Hard work is what we are talking about here and it doesn’t matter which club you play for. If our players can come together and work real hard they can pull up surprises.”


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