Head coach of the Nigeria national team, Sunday Oliseh, is fully recovered from a virus infection that kept him away from Abuja, where the Super Eagles began their build-up to the 2016 Championship for African Nations (CHAN), and is now supervising the squad’s final preparations for the competition, which kicks off on January 16.
According to team officials, Oliseh on Saturday night received the Eagles squad in Pretoria and on Sunday (yesterday) they were training under his supervision.
“Oliseh is fully recovered now. We met him at the hotel on our arrival and he started training the team today (Sunday),” disclosed Oliseh’s special assistant TijjaniBabangida.
“He put the boys through their paces, correcting their mistakes and joining them in the game itself. He’s looking a lot healthier.”
On Wednesday, the Eagles will play a warm-up game against another CHAN-bound team Angola.
They are also slated to face Cote d’Ivoire on January 11 before they depart for Rwanda.
The Eagles will start the competition by trying to negotiate a first round hurdle in the shape of Angola, Guinea and the Niger Republic.
Speaking on the ambition of the Nigerian squad, media officer to the squad, ToyinIbitoye, said: “The head coach (Oliseh) has said that the team would take the matches one game at a time. I think that is the philosophy.
“The most important thing for the head coach now is to win the first game against Niger Republic and pocket the three points at stake. He also eyes victory in the second game. Maybe that will be good enough to qualify us for the second round.
“So it is one game at a time. So I am optimistic that we will go all the way, that is play up till February 7th, 2016 and by the grace of God do what the Golden Eaglets have done and also do what the Dream Team VI have done, which is winning and bring glory to Nigeria.”
Twenty-three players are in the training camp in South Africa and except for injury, all the players will make the final cut for the tournament for those who are based in their various home leagues.
However, Lobi Stars defender Samson Gbadebo will only join up with the rest of the squad early this week as his entry visa is being processed.
All the 23 players will be making their CHAN debut in Rwanda.
The full squad:
Goalkeepers: IkechukwuEzenwa, Femi Thomas, OkiemuteOdah
Defenders: Etim Matthew, JamiuAlimi, Stephen Eze, Austin Oborakpo, Samson Gbadebo, Kalu Orji, Chima Akas, Chris Madaki,
Midfielders: Ifeanyi Matthew, Usman Mohammed, BatureYaro, Bartholomew Ibenegbu, Paul Onobi, IbrahimSalau
Strikers: TundeAdeniji, Ezekiel Bassey, Prince Aggreh, ChisomChikatara, Bright Onyedikachi, OsasOkoro