By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Former Super Eagles left-back, Taye Taiwo has sounded a note of caution to the Eagles stars who are billed to play against the Pharaohs of Egypt in the 2017 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers in Kaduna and Alexandria, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
As the double header of the 2017 AFCON qualifiers approach, Super Eagles stars who have been invited for the game by interim coach, Samson Siasia, have taken to different media platforms to express their readiness for the games.
The idea of talking tough, Taiwo insists in a chat with Completesportsnigeria.com, must be left on the field of play next week Friday and four days later in Egypt as the Egyptians are no mincemeat for Nigeria.
"I like the enthusiasm being expressed by the players (Samson) Siasia has invited for the matches. But it is Egypt we are playing against and not one small country," the HJK Helsinki defender who played 11 league games for his Finnish side in the 2015 season told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"I would prefer them to do the talking with their performance on the field. Egypt is a strong African football country. They have not won the Africa Cup of Nations for a while and with a coach like Hector Cuper in charge, they will surely not be rolled over. Why not work hard in training and stop talking tough. Are the Egyptians also boasting," Taiwo asked rhetorically.
"At the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations which Egypt hosted and won, some of the locals wanted us to play their team, though that did not happen. I'm excited myself but we must respect the Egyptian side too.
"If you ask my advise to the team, it will be to talk less and work hard, doing what coach Samson Siasia wants from them," the former Olympique Marseille, AC Milan, Dynamo Kiev and Bursaspor defender who was voted as the best left back of the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations by the Technical Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) further stressed.
The home-based Eagles have intensified preparations for the crucial qualifiers and will be joined by the foreign legion next week.