By Bamidele Boluwaji:
Former Nigeria coach Austin Eguavoen has told Complete Sports that big countries are scared of the Super Eagles ahead of the FIFA World Cup draw coming up on Friday in Moscow, Russia.
Eguavoen who led the Super Eagles to the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt said the exploits of Nigeria during the qualifiers have reawakened interest in the coach Gernot Rohr-led team.
Nigeria finished the qualifiers unbeaten and was the first African country to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after their 1-0 win over Chipolopolo of Zambia in Uyo in October.
“I think we should just focus on a good draw because I have read many reports suggesting that Nigeria is likely to play some big names and that has caused a kind of panic to some people. But I want to tell you today that some of these big name teams are scared of the Super Eagles,” Eguavoen, who represented Nigeria at the country’s first World Cup in 1994, told Completesportsnigeria.com.
“Being the first African country to qualify for the World Cup and playing all the qualifying matches without a single defeat showed that we have a good team and that has reawakened the interest of other countries in Nigeria.
“As I speak with you, I am sure some coaches will be saying they don’t want to play Nigeria in the first round but as a coach, I believe preparation is key to any opponent you want to play.
“The boys and the coaches need the best of support they can get from the NFF, government, journalists and supporters.
“My prayer is for the Super Eagles to be in the group that will be easy for them to qualify.”