Super Eagles assistant coach, Sylvanus Okpala has said that he expects the senior national team to grow into a very strong unit within the next six months.
In a chat with Sports Vanguard in Lagos Wednesday, the former Rangers’ coach said in view of the modest success achieved with the locally based players so far, the rebuilding process was on course as the players had all im pressed.
Okpala was happy that the locally based players had picked up the challenge and were in a better position to fight for shirts against their Europe based counterparts now than ever before.
Relieving the Dubai experience where a wholly home-based Super Eagles squad held their much experienced Egyptian counterparts before succumbing to a last minute goal in their 3-2 loss to the Pharaohs, Okpala said, “the boys did very well.
They gave Nigerians good reasons to be happy and feel the future of the national team is bright. They held the Egyptians for long periods and their confidence on the ball was something to cheer about.
“We scored first and the Egyptians equalised. When they went ahead, we equalised within 5 minutes and with the way we were playing, we could have wrapped up the match with a victory if not for the loss in concentration by our defenders..”
He observed that the changes made in the last 20 minutes of the match could have caused the drop in Eagles play against the sleek playing Pharaohs. “I am not saying those brought in caused the defeat because such slips happen even with the most experienced players.”
He said the game against Egypt was a good lesson for the players as they met a different level of football from that they played against Angola, Liberia and Rwanda. “It was of a higher level. I expect Peru will give us a good match in the coming friendly.”