By Onochie Anibeze and Okey Ndiribe
“We have weapons of mass destruction and we will unleash them on Guinea,” Samson Siasia said as he walked out of the Abuja National Stadium after yesterday’s training.
He felt good about what he saw in training and spoke confidently.
The training was in stages and covered major requirements in the execution of a soccer game. Implementation in a match situation is another thing but Siasia was hopeful that the boys would not disappoint Nigerians.
They will conclude the traning progamme today with emphasis on set pieces. Some corner kicks were still high and the coach wanted them to be at head level with force so that on impact with the head they would equally be goal-bound forcefully. Their training today will be closed to journalists, fans and other visitors.
The players practiced compact play with emphasis on close marking and very fast attacks in yesterday’s training. After tactical sessions where Dutch coach Simon Kalika took on a group, Siasia organised another group. They played a full game.
“We are determined to win and qualify for the Nations Cup. We will not let the nation down,” captain of the team Joseph
Yobo responded to the remarks of sports minister Yusuf Suleiman who watched the training and addressed the team after their session.
He told them that as unifying agents that they were more than a football team to Nigeria. “It is only when national football game is on that you don’t see husband and wife quarreling,” he said, re-echoing what the Senate President had said while inaugurating the Senate Sports Committee few hours earlier.
Yobo looked stable in the defence with Adeleye, Taiye Taiwo and Ambrose Efe played from the right back position in the absence of Chibuzo Okonkwo. He is likely to play there on Saturday.
The midfield had Mikel Obi, Joel Obi, Fegor Ogunde and in the attack Emenike, Osaze Odewengie and Obinna Nsofor worked out some exchanges. There could be last minute changes otherwise these players will start the game tomorrow with Dele Aiyenugba in goal.
Training started at 2 pm, the same time that the match will take place. Interestingly it was not as hot as many had feared and the hope is that it remains so on Saturday.
Football Federation President Aminu Maigari, his vice Mike Umeh, Technical Committee boss Christopher Green were among the top football officials at the training. Victor Ikpeba stood with Siasia and had some words with him.
Dr. Patrick Ekeji accompanied the minister and told Siasia and Yobo that “there would not be alternative to victory on Saturday” and they agreed with him.