Swaziland Is Difficult To Play – Oliseh | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Swaziland Is Difficult To Play – Oliseh

Posted: Nov 11, 2015 at 6:15 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Says Emenike is replaceable *Mikel arrives

SUPER Eagles head coach, Sunday Oliseh, on Tuesday, declared that Nigeria’s opponent in Friday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier, Swaziland, was a difficult team to tackle.

This is even as the former Super Eagles skipper stated that though retired striker, Emmanuel Emenike did his best for the country, he was replaceable any day.

Fielding questions from sports journalists on Tuesday evening shortly after the Eagles’ training, Oliseh stated that for Swaziland to have shocked Guinea to set up a date with the Eagles meant that the side was no pushover, hence needed to be taken seriously by his men.

Oliseh said the Eagles would try their best in Friday’s qualifier, adding that there was every reason to respect their opponents.

“We will try to give it the best that we can. They are a difficult team. They are the team that shocked Guinea and it is not going to be easy playing them, especially playing them on an artificial pitch at their home.

“We know what is waiting for us. We’ve had our wake up call with Tanzania. But the boys are in high spirits and I am very optimistic.

“We always have a reason to entertain any fear against any opponent because if we don’t respect them, we get kicked out. It is a World Cup qualifier; we have to respect them and take them as very worthy opponent,” he stated.

Speaking on players, including Obafemi Martins, Shehu Abdullahi and Ogeyin Onazi, yet to report in camp, Oliseh declared that he was not losing any sleep over this, informing that the ongoing Lufthansa strike action was responsible for their late arrival.

“They will meet up. The players are not here because of flight problem. I don’t know if you have heard of Lufthansa’s strike problem. Musa just flew in and he walked to the training. I am not really worried about that. I think that we had a very good training tour in Belgium,” Oliseh said.

Asked if he was going to miss the 2013 African Nations Cup (AFCON) highest goalscorer, Emenike, Oliseh emphatically stated that he was not going to miss the former Fenerbahce striker.

According to Oliseh, “Emenike served Nigeria well and I think he took a lot of thought before he decided to retire. We wish him all the best. But as I told you right from the beginning, nobody is irreplaceable, only Nigeria is irreplaceable.

“I think we had great players, in fact, greatest players Africa ever seen, Nigeria produced them. They retired and Nigeria did not die. But we should thank him for what he did for Nigeria.”


Mikel Arrives

Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi and Manchester City starlet, Kelechi Iheanacho have joined the Super Eagles training camp in Abuja ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against the Sihlangu of Swaziland.

Mikel arrived in Abuja early Tuesday morning on board a British Airways flight.

“I hope to win (against Swaziland) and I have been doing this from the first day,” the Chelsea star said on arrival.

However, Iheanacho, who featured for the Flying Eagles at the FIFA U-20 World Cup held this year in New Zealand, is honouring his first Super Eagles call-up.

Recalled Seattle Sounders striker Obafemi Martins is due in the training camp by afternoon, officials disclosed.

The players already in camp include Efe Ambrose, Odion Ighalo, Elderson Echiejile, Alex Iwobi, Rabiu Ibrahim, Carl Ikeme as well as the players from the domestic league – Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Austin Oboroakpo, Jamiu Alimi, Orji Kalu and Chima Akas

Nigeria’s first training session will be by 4pm at Abuja National Stadium.

The team will depart Abuja early Thursday morning for Swaziland on a chartered flight.