With enough support, Eguavoen will deliver, says Akanni
Waidi Akanni, an ex-international, on Sunday said that the success of Austin Eguavoen, the interim Manager of Super Eagles, is hinged on the level of support given to the coach by stakeholders.
Akanni, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, added that all hands should be on deck, with barely a month to the Nations Cup.
NAN reports that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) recently announced that Eguavoen would replace Gernot Rohr as Super Eagles coach on an interim arrangement.
“With his wealth of experience, I believe he’d bring something fresh to the team because he has been around; he has gone to these tournaments as a player and as a coach.
“With NFF’s real support, he’d be able to achieve so much; the tournament is about four weeks and the core of the team is basically from Europe.
“I don’t think he needs to do a lot of search because our domestic league only just kicked off, support from all levels is crucial,’’ Akanni said.
Rohr’s five-year stint with Nigeria has ended and Eguavoen is back in the position he held back in 2010 following Lars Lagerback’s exit in 2010.
Akanni, a former FA Chairman of Lagos State, advised Eguavoen to focus on the defense in order to have a well-coordinated team.
“Austin should also try to look into the defence line, which needs one or two changes, I believe by so doing, getting the necessary result won’t be a problem.
“We need to beef up our defense to fortify our squad better,‘’ Akanni said.
The 56-year-old manager will work alongside Salisu Yusuf (chief coach), Paul Aigbogun (assistant coach), Joseph Yobo (assistant coach), Terry Eguaoje (assistant coach) and Alloy Agu (goalkeeper coach).
In 1994, he was the acting captain that lifted the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia after Nigeria defeated Zambia 2-1.
He was also part of Clemens Westerhof’s team that featured in the country’s maiden appearance at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
Eguavoen called time on his international career at the age of 32 after playing in Nigeria’s last group match at the 1998 World Cup which ended in a 3-1 loss to Paraguay.