By Nurudeen Obalola:
Former Nigeria junior international Nurudeen Orelesi has backed Samson Siasia to lead the Super Eagles to victory against Egypt on Tuesday.
The Eagles face the Pharaohs in a key 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Alexandria needing a win to upstage the North Africans who currently lead Group G.
Orelesi, who played under Siasia at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2009 (incidentally held in Egypt), feels victory in Alexandria is possible.
“I felt really bad when the Eagles couldn’t hold on to beat Egypt on Friday in Kaduna,” Orelesi, who plays for Albanian champions Skenderbeu, told Completesportsnigeria.com. “But it’s understable because it’s a new coach with new players. Egypt are a tough side and we almost beat them but for a late equaliser.”
Only a win on Tuesday will be good enough to keep Nigeria in the race for Gabon as they trail Egypt with two points, with only one round of games to go after the Alexandria clash.
Orelesi has no doubts about Siasia’s ability to get that win.
“I have absolute confidence in coach Siasia. I played for him and he’s a very good coach. He knows the right players that will help get good results and his teams always play good football,” Orelesi said.
“I believe strongly in the team and I’ll be cheering them on from here in Albania on Tuesday.”
Orelesi, who will be 27 in April, has been in good form for Skenderbeu since returning to the league leaders from Ukrainian club FC Metarlurg in January.
The left-sided player, who can play in defensive midfield and left-back, has featured 18 times for both clubs in all competitions this season and he believes this form can earn him a Super Eagles place.
He added: “I’ve played for the U-20s and the U-23s and I know I’m good enough for the Super Eagles. I know my good form is not going unnoticed and I expect a call-up anytime soon.”