BY JOHNNY EDWARD
Flying Eagles coach, Manu Garba, has insisted that in-form Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho will have to force his way into the Nigeria U-20s starting line-up for the forthcoming FIFA U-20 World Cup, despite being in blistering form for City's Elite Development Side and the U-18s.
Iheanacho was the star man onTuesday as the EDS hammered Southampton Under-21s 4-0 at St Mary’s and is expected to play a major role in the Nigeria’s quest for the world title.
But Garba a insists that Iheanacho will not get preferential treatment.
The U-17 World Cup-winning former Golden Eaglets coach told completesports.com in an exclusive chat that Iheanacho’s club form won’t guarantee him a starting place in the Flying Eagles.
“We are monitoring his exploits but that doesn’t mean he’s going to walk straight into our starting line-up when the World Cup kicks off,” Garba said. “It’s not just about Iheanacho, I have a team that is eager to make an impact.”
He also added that his side is not carried away by the recent spate of victories they recorded ahead of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand, adding that it will count for nothing if they don’t replicate such form when they begin their campaign.
“We face Brazil in our first game and we respect them but they won’t be shown too much respect. Our confidence is on the high now but the results are not truly the reflection of the team play.
"The results in friendlies are good for our confidence ahead of our opener against Brazil. We will respect them but not too much," he added to completesportsnigeria.com.