Eguavoen aims to sign off with victory
By Festus Abu
Friday, 17 Sep 2010
Former Nigeria captain Austin Eguavoen aims to end his nearly two-month spell in charge of the Super Eagles on victory note.
Eguavoen finally bowed to pressure from his fans to be in the dugout when the Eagles clash with the Syli Nationale of Guinea in their 2012 Nations Cup qualifiers in Conakry on October 10 and the former Belgium-based defender has declared the match a must-win.
He had allegedly turned down a request from the Nigeria Football Federation take charge of the game as the NFF could not clarify his future, particularly with the football house in talks with his former Eagles teammate Samson Siasia to take over the job.
Speaking with our correspondent on the telephone on Thursday, the former Torpedo Moscow strongman, who led the country to a third-place finish at the Egypt 2006 Nations Cup, said he was ready to make sacrifices to ensure Nigeria‘s qualification for the 2012 African showpiece to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
”I met with the Nigeria Football Federation officials on Wednesday and every detail has been trashed out,” the former K.V. Kortrijk defender said.
”It‘s another opportunity to serve my country and I‘m proud the football house has asked me to be in charge of the team against Guinea – it‘s a call to service and I love the challenge.
”We‘ll work very hard for maximum points, although victory won‘t come easy.”
Eguavoen was criticised for his approach, despite leading the Eagles to a 2-0 victory over Madagascar on September 5 but the former Lagos ACB star said he was not bothered.
He said, ”Victory is what matters in a football match. It‘s better to play badly and win than play beautiful football and lose.”
He promised to give the home-based players who made the team against Madagascar in Calabar another opportunity to stake claims for first-team roles in the Eagles.
The Tunisia‘94 Nations Cup winner said, ”It was a gamble to play some of the home-based players against Madagascar but I‘m happy they didn‘t disappoint.
”Everyone is talking about Valantine Nwabili, Suswan Terna and others today; I‘m proud of them.”
Our correspondent learnt that Eguavoen would stick to the squad that faced Madagascar for Guinea clash.