By Jacob Ajom
Impressed by the manner national team coach Gernot Rohr is going about preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo, former Super Eagles captain and first choice goalkeeper, Peter Rufai has declared that Nigerians should expect a very tough Eagles squad against the Bafana Bafana.
Speaking in a chat with Sports Vanguard in Lagos yesterday, Rufai said that Coach Rohr’s decision to invite some young and untested players, including some home-based stars to France for a friendly against Corsica national team was a step in the right direction.
“The match will afford some of the players an opportunity to express themselves and impress the coaches. In a way, their performances, particularly for the home-based, will open the door for their colleagues who are waiting in the wings.”
Rufai said the Corsica friendly will give the national team coaches a pool of young and older players from which to select the squad for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier tie in Uyo. “I believe the coaches will present a very strong Super Eagles team against South Africa because the players to be selected after the Corsica friendly to join the regulars will be the best. I am optimistic Nigeria will get a good result against South Africa in Uyo,”Rufai said.
He was not perturbed by the seeming goalkeeper crisis in Eagles as he advised Nigerians not to panic. “When Rohr released names of those invited to camp, he also included goalkeepers and I believe these young keepers would prove their worth. If you don’t give someone an opportunity, there is no way he can prove himself,” Rufai said, adding, “I don’t think anybody should panic over goalkeepers in the squad.”
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