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‘Forget About AFCON Disappointment, Focus On World Cup Qualifier Against Ghana’  –Eguavoen Urges Eagles 

‘Forget About AFCON Disappointment, Focus On World Cup Qualifier Against Ghana’  –Eguavoen Urges Eagles 

Austin Eguavoen has urged the Super Eagles players to put the disappointment of the AFCON 2021 behind them and focus on the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Ghana in March.

After a brilliant start to the ongoing AFCON in Cameroon, the Eagles were shocked 1-0 by Tunisia in the round of 16.

The Eagles had a perfect record in the group stage after winning all their three games and went into the knockout tie against the North Africans as favourites.

However, a Youssef Msakni’s second half goal was enough to seal victory for the Carthage Eagles.

And speaking to the players and backroom staff before the team left departed Cameroon, Eguavoen thanked everybody for their contributions and urged them to put the disappointment aside and focus on the challenges ahead.

“It is a bitter pill to swallow no doubt about it but human beings proposes and God dispossess,” he said in a video published on NFF TV.

“I have decided with the entire crew just to have a word with you guys because you will be travelling back and we might not have the opportunity to gather. This is just to show appreciation to you players and the backroom staff.

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“What we’ve been hearing about you guys turned out to be wrong, because you guys have displayed professionalism big time. Commitment, togetherness, love, passion, dedication everything put together nothing is missing at all. So I want to say congratulations for your performance but we were striving for something but we couldn’t get it. It’s one of those in life. It’s very painful to exit the tournament in the round of 16 with the calibre of players that we have.

“But my joy is that at least we were able to impact something and the response from you guys was amazing. This morning I got a call from the honourable minister and he told me to let you guys know that you shouldn’t bury your head down, heads up and he is very satisfied with the performance so far. 

The NFF president also called me, the General Secretary called me, Barrister Akinwunmi called me, Shehu Dikko called me. For them to still believe in this team I think it’s a plus. Now we will be travelling back home I know you will hear some positive things and negative things, it is normal in life for whatever reasons because Nigerians they love football and that’s what brings smiles to their faces. 

“So a lot was expected and we couldn’t meet the expectations. Not their expectations because first of all you first which is important, we couldn’t meet our expectations which is okay, it happens football. But I want you to continue to believe in yourselves because you still have a whole lot of job to do for yourselves and the nation. The World Cup qualifier is close, the quicker we take this off our mind the better for everybody.

“The fact that we still have the NFF in support of what we are doing we now see we don’t have anything to worry about. It was hard for me to sleep but what do I have to do, take it digest and just move on, mistakes are there to be made. Turn your ears to negative thoughts and think positive.

“It was a very short tournament for us, some people got to play some didn’t get to play but the way we took it is very encouraging and I want to urge you to continue in that line because it will come to your turn also to be in the shoes. If you wish your teammates well it will also go well with you. But if you have a bad mind it will have a way to get back to you whether we like it or not.

“So I want to say a very big thank you to the staff here, very supportive. We said it from day one there would be ups and downs there would be argument but for a reason for the same objective. Believe me the progress we’ve made right from December I think is wonderful. So it’s not easy but please don’t bury down your head, heads up and continue to do what you know how to do best in your clubs and hopefully, I’m still the director of football in Nigeria and the Football Federation, we will do everything possible because the platform is already there, it doesn’t matter who is in charge but the country first. We don’t have any other country to coach or to play for but the country first. 

“So whenever any of us is called upon please do not hesitate. There will be some negative words from social media but it is normal it is the way they feel, the spur of the moment it’s emotions one game can change the whole situation. l know it’s difficult to take but please let us try.

“For the skipper, I appreciate your leadership and the way we’ve gone about this whole thing is unique so let’s enjoy the moment and when we meet our bosses back home they will tell us what the next programme would be.

“At this point I want to say a big thank you to you guys and try to cheer up and we wish ourselves the best of luck God bless you all.”

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  • MONKEY POST 2 years ago

    DUMB ASS!!! See where your greed and wanting to take another man’s shine is leading you.. I expected you to reject the SE eagles job when you were given as a sign of respect and honor for GENERAL ROHR.(to show solidarity for the injustice melted to him) But no..Rather because you saw the already assembled talented players, you thought you could use them to achieve your selfish aim. But karma like they say is a bitch.. LMFAO!!!!!

    • Festus 2 years ago

      Ha ha ha, already talented assembled by Right. Just listen bro yourself.

      • Remmy Fatoyibo 2 years ago

        Iyam also laffing…. Already assembled talented that lost to ordinary Central Africa Republic on home soil indeed. Mumurity of the highest order, Egu turned those half fits around in a matter of days and it only shows he would do more if given more time.

  • Dennis 2 years ago

    Nigerians crucified rohr for coming 3rd and now praise this man for coming 16th. I hope we don’t miss the World Cup and celebrate playing tiki taka while failing to qualify
    One clown who goes by the name, jimmyball said we should blame rohr for making okoye our number 1. That was the reason we lost to Tunisia. Not eguaveon’s tactics, not our strikers failing to shine but the blame should go to the coach that was sacked weeks to the tournament
    I guess rohr held a gun to eguaveon’s head and forced him to play okoye. As a tactical genius, why didn’t he drop okoye if he knew the boy wasn’t good? Rohr always made use of Collins as our left back but the coach opted for zaidu. Why didn’t he go for another goalkeeper?

    Jimmyball and omo9ja have both ran amok and should be chained

    • Festus 2 years ago

      That means this na we own whether we win or lose we dey there. I hope your brain is working, Rohr had more than 3 years to achieve that feat. Our own had only few days of training and still shocked the World. Thank God he’s been given 4 years to print out image on the global scene.

      • Matthew N. 2 years ago

        That guy is an idiot. You shouldn’t have responded to him. Someone who can’t think farther for that matter.

      • DANURCHMAN 2 years ago

        LOL! Shock which world? Shock the word but dumped in round of 16. Super story. By the time Eguavoen finishes with Super Eagles, Super will be worst than a skeleton. Shock the world ke!

    • JimmyBall 2 years ago

      @Dennis… After this comment you made above… any mature mind on this forum will know you are not only a dunce but it appears all is not well with your life. Lol… Once bitten twice shy! Nobody will advise Eguaveon what to do regarding Maduka Pumpido Okoye… a.k.a “One shot… one goal!” hahahaha… @Michel thank you for that wonderful alias for our Rohr elected number one… even before fineboy lambato play any serious tournament for Nigeria. Msakni was charging and creating space for a quick fire, any real goalkeeper suppose dey position himself for better diving… our Regional Liga sourced goalkeeper was still selecting which leg on which to properly stand… Lol, when Msakni release, Mr Goalkeeper still dey one mile away from where him suppose stand before taking even one… two steps to dive… at the end of the day over 200millin peoples went to bed with long faces… I still remember how my friend @Dr.Drey praised moongod Rohr for blessing us with Maduka. Gambia keeper too was smuggled into Afcon from a division 4 team in Germany… but watch that young man and you know he has a heart of a lion manning his goal area… even saving a penalty against Tunisia! Nigerians won’t forget Daniel Akpeyi and Maduka Okoye in a long while… if a lazy farmer can’t blame his poor farm tools he will blame his farm for being too faraway from home… hahaha! My prayers now is for Eguaveon to still plant Mr. One. Shot… One goal in the post against Ghana! Lol… Ajuwaya!

      • Dennis 2 years ago

        @jimmyball you keep displaying your stupidity online and it’s alarming. Okoye is a terrible keeper according to you, so why didn’t ‘let us fail with our own’ not drop him? He dropped Collins and went for Zaidu. If an outdated rohr can guide a team to 3rd position after the team missed out on 2 consecutive qualifiers, after he met a team in tatters, a tactical genius should be able to improve on the 3rd position. Don’t forget, you and omo9ja said 2 weeks is enough time for any coach to instill his tactics into his players

    • Victor 2 years ago

      Okoye is a good goalie… That goal wasn’t his fault if you observed the replay show ekong trying to use his ass to shield the ball then suddenly he avoided the ball… Which Okoye anticipated as going a different direction… Anyway I’m glad Okoye saved a similar shot… This time parrying it to a corner…so who says he’s not good… Also EGU… Failed to turn the 4 defenders to 3.. Then play 5 midfielders and push the Tunisians into them own half.. Taking the game to them… This would have made us win them… He’s too rigid.. He needs a technical coach with him.. To help him read games.. This team can reach the semi. Final. Of the world cup….

  • Michel 2 years ago

    Well spoken coach eguavoen,try and be contacting and encouraging the serious players u are going to use to prosecute the game against Ghana home and away,look beyond failed genart rohr players and invite serious players like Amoo,nwaobodo,bonke, Kingsley Michael ,good keepers and co.if u want to succeed,don’t invite maduka okoye A.K.A one shot one goal.he will mess u up if try and give him another chance and we win not forgive u.we are ignoring this Afcon because of the time u took the job,but plz ,stop inviting pretenders,invite dessers and any other hungry footballer that wants to succeed not Instagram and Twitter footballers that are flirting with girls during a tournament,doing sex parties,some are Even vlogging,ekong use to bring camera to the training ground during rohr,s era and it was one of the things that made him loose the dressing room.ghana is hunting for a coach knowing that the match against Nigeria is very very tough game but we will look beyond talents and work hard with the boys to achieve results ,invite those that will help including Dennis and ighalo .I said ighalo because the new boys disappointed me and themselves,we thought we had attackers but don’t have anything and this is where I will give the failed coach little credit because he knew that these boys are not good and wanted ighalo.

    • Victor 2 years ago

      Your English sef poor.. So many errors.. Okoye is a good goal keeper… The defense were at fault that day.. They failed to block that shot b4 it found it way to the goal keeper… Did Okoye not save a similar shot later on in the game..

  • William d conqueror 2 years ago

    To all rohr asslickers, it’s getting boring now, come off it.

  • To get good results in games . Eguaevon pls use tortoise brain . Even in camp use tortoise brain .it is not attack attack attack .let no 9 come to center circle .at time let ur 9 be the 1st line of defense at times . Play middle field game. Play long ball to 18 yard box like oliseh did to senegal.allow opponent to express demsef to give ur attack chances. .this will make ur team to get stronger and stronger.wen dey meet tough opponent.unt 90 mins is over.Let me stop here for now every 15 minutes . something new from the boys.ghana will cry

    • I didn’t come here to criticize anyone’. But let me Yan u. Study all game naija don win wit this people. U see it is away win home draw. Most times. Y is it like that . Dey come here fully prepared. But they have to want to win at home .as we be now . We can score away if dey attack us . Their defense go open now. But wen dey come here na to come frustrate us. So use ur brain .

      • Actually I didn’t read this epistle up . Preaching to the boys up there.
        I expect that camp will be open up a week before the 1st leg .near Cote de voire . troussier did be4.. By February u shud ve gotten a place in Cote de voire . For the boys arrival.close camp. And Abuja camp also ready for the 2nd leg. We are not warring wit Cote de voire so the best camp shud be available for eagles. Not Abuja camp for 1st leg.this shud be ur demand.from pinik.

      • U made a valid point my dear, the task before Eguavoen is when opponent close shop, how do you make the team to respond positively? They should be practicing it.

      • As if I knew wat will happen.
        Wat a pity .

  • Larry 2 years ago

    Cerezo, i believe by now you should be able to correct the lapses in the team.

    i. Upgrade your tactics and select players that can perform in multiple formation

    ii. Request for a new GK trainer, Alloy Agu is compromised. (Rufai/Enyeama).

    iii. Make team selection more competitive, only active players (no bench warmers or Sunday Sunday player) should be considered for selection.

    iv. The team needs an experience game changer in the person of VM. If you can’t get VM, Lookman is a valuable asset for the team. Get atleast one of VM/Dennis/Lookman

    • KangA 2 years ago

      Oga, pls forgive me if I interfere:

      v. Don’t introduce quota system in the selection of players . . .

  • Olujimi Morgan 2 years ago

    Wow. A well thought through and inspirational speech. Mark of good leadership. Naija no de carry last.
    Focus now is on the WCQ against Ghana. Must get our house in order, and must prepare well. I believe we’d have only 23 players in the squad, down from the 28 allowed for Afcon. Players have to be dropped. Critically, we need to strengthen the team. 2 attackers, 1 winger/MF, and 1 goalkeeper. I’m sure the Afcon matches, preparation, and team environment etc. would be reviewed.

    A prompt decision about the coach is needed. Additionally, we should start to monitor possible players, encourage them, and start to liaise with the clubs.

    Up Super Eagles.

  • Fidel 2 years ago

    Has things fey go so NIAJA might not qualify to World Cup.

    I pray it will not be old story again.
    NFF is just playing gambling with our Foosball..

  • ABDULRAZAK 2 years ago

    Dont worry coach. Just tell the lads to go out there and play entertainment football. Who cares if we lose? I believe FIFA will organise a World cup for the most entertaining but failed teams in 2023.

  • onyeagoro Johnson Chima 2 years ago

    Nigeria didn’t come 16th but 9th position.

  • Ralph 2 years ago

    Tactical Deficiency cost us AFCON take it or leave it, but we cant do nothing about that now, its in the past and we just have to move forward.
    But one thing i feel like addressing here which is common with western people and that i think we should emulate is acting and working methodically. There has been a plan on ground and no matter what follow it. Eguavoen is the TD, he was summon as an Interim Coach just for AFCON, a coach is already pencilled down, even already announced on BBC and ESPN. And after the group games Eguavoen was asked during the press conference if he would be interested if the NFF offer him the job on full term and he said WHY NOT. They should have asked him, what has he be doing as TD, because you cant be a TD with a plan and programme for the nation football and one night someone just offers you another job and without thinking about it you just jump at the job, that means you really have no business being a TD, because you just showed no signs of vision or plan for that office. Ghana is one of the worst team at AFCON, but you know how they can be against Nigeria and beside its a 50-50 chance to the WC, you must beat the Ghanaians otherwise i dont know which excuse you going to give this time, I would advice Eguavoen to just go back to his office and let the NFF handle it.

  • DeSTAR 2 years ago

    Empower Eguavoen now, editors urge NFF
    By Gowon Akpodonor | 31 January 2022 | 3:03 am

    [FILES] Nigeria’s head coach Augustine Eguavoen speaks during a press conference in Garoua, January 22, 2022, on the eve of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Nigeria and Tunisia. (Photo by Daniel Beloumou Olomo / AFP)

    The Guild of Sports Editors has urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to, without delay, announce and empower Super Eagles Interim Coach, Augustine Eguavoen, as the manager of the senior national team, which is billed to meet Ghana in a two-leg Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier in March.
    The Guild, which noted, that the time is too late for the NFF to start talking of picking a foreign coach for the task of qualifying Nigeria for Qatar 2022, said Eguavoen has shown that given adequate support he can return the Super Eagles to the summit of world football.

    Rising from a meeting in Lagos at the weekend, the body, which is the umbrella association of managers of sports in the country’s major media houses, said, “Nigerians will not forgive the NFF if it bungles the country’s bid to qualify for the World Cup.”

    Speaking through its president, Mr. Tony Ubani, the Guild said: “Qualifying for the Qatar 2022 World Cup is the most important task before managers of the country’s football. They must ensure that nothing goes wrong.

    “The whole world saw in Cameroun that Nigeria’s problem is not hinged on lack of quality players. Rather, the country was held down by a lethargic system, which did not allow the player’s opportunity to express their talents.

    “Within a few weeks of taking over the team, Eguavoen unleashed the potential in the Super Eagles such that he was voted as the best coach of the first round at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroun.

    “Although we lost, unfortunately, in the round of 16, Eguavoen has created a plank on which the Super Eagles can thread to success given the necessary support.

    “We, therefore, call on the NFF to, as a matter of urgency, name and empower Eguavoen to start preparing the Super Eagles for the games against Ghana. Time is of essence.”

    Warning that Nigerians will not forgive the NFF if the Eagles failed to pick one of the five Qatar 2022 tickets, the Guild of Editors told members of the federation’s board to be ready to resign en mass should the country fail to qualify for the World Cup.

    The body also reminded Sports Minister, Chief Sunday Dare, that qualifying and performing creditably at the 2022 World Cup is the biggest sports assignment facing the Federal Government this year.

    “The minister should, therefore, provide the enabling environment for the NFF to prepare the Super Eagles for the games against Ghana.

    “Fortunately, the Federal Government has brought the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja back to life. There are also other quality stadiums to host the Nigerian leg of the matches, so, the focus should now be solely on preparing the national team for the matches,” the body said.

    In this article:
    Ghana Qatar 2022 QualifierNFFNigeriaNigeria Football Federation
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  • Omo9ja 2 years ago

    “Forget About AFCON Disappointment, Focus On World Cup Qualifier Against Ghana’  –Eguavoen Urges Eagles” 

    Hmm. Interesting. Well, it is not that easy to let the painful defeat go just like that coach Eguavoen.

    The most important thing is, as a coach, what have you learned from that defeat?

    Are you going to adjust or you will continue repeating the same thing?

    By now, you should have known Tunisian team much better but it seems you have not learned from the past.

    However, please select the players based on current form. The goalkeeping department needs competition. We have good goalies available for that role. We need our best players against Ghana. Enough of Akpeyi, Ighalo, Shehu and John Noble period. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Edoman 2 years ago

    You are ready to fail with our own. Get ready to match our brother Ghana at the FIFA World Cup from your nice sitting Room in the summer. Rohr left Nigeria at 34 ranking. Start to watch where Nigeria is heading to from now on.
    A lot of people are saying that Okoye should not enter Nigeria, or they will harm him

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