Maduka is disconsolate, says Omeruo
Coach Augustine Eguavoen has promised to support the team’s incoming manager as the country seeks to qualify for Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Nigeria will meet Ghana in a two-leg play-off in March for one of Africa’s five tickets to the World Cup. The first leg of the qualifier will hold in Ghana while Nigeria will host the decisive leg.

Eguavoen, who is Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) technical director, said before leaving Cameroun for Nigeria on Monday that the technical department is ready to support the new coach in whichever way he wants, adding that leading the country to Qatar 2022 World Cup is paramount, more than any other considerations.

The NFF recently named Portuguese coach, Jose Poseiro, as Super Eagles next manager following the sack of Gernot Rohr from the position.

Poseiro, according to the Federation, was in Cameroun as an observer, while the Eagles featured in the Africa Cup of Nations.

He is expected to resume work soon to begin preparations for the World Cup final qualifying matches.

“We have to sit down together and map out strategies. We need to give him the platform; we have already prepared the team for 80 to 90 percent.

“He just has to add his own style and leadership. We would support him with everything because the country comes first,” Eguavoen said.

MEANWHILE, Super Eagles’ defender, Kenneth Omeruo, has absolved goalkeeper Maduka Okoye of blame for Nigeria’s elimination in the round of 16 by Tunisia.

Okoye has been criticized by football fans for the goal that eliminated the Eagles from the competition, but Omeruo said the Netherlands-based goalkeeper should not be singled out for the country’s failure.

Omeruo, who said Okoye has been disconsolate since the country’s elimination from AFCON, added: “He is not feeling fine right now, but you know, I said to him ‘Listen, you’ve been amazing. It’s been a good tournament for you.

“Anybody can be beaten by that goal. It’s a good strike and also it wasn’t a clear situation, because (we) the defenders were in front of him as well, so that would distract his view.

“I wouldn’t say that goal was his fault at all.”

The Leganes of Spain defender said the failure in Cameroun has given the players food for thought, adding that they would reconvene for the World Cup qualifier more determined to succeed than ever.