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Taiwo: Nigeria should do the talking on the pitch
Former Marseille and AC Milan left-back Taye Taiwo expressed his opinion on the Nigeria national team’s positive and motivated outlook on their encounters with the Pharaohs, but warned the players from bragging.
The current HJK Helsinki defender did not receive a call up from Nigeria head coach Samson Siasia and he spoke to completesportsnigera.com about his country’s double encounter with Egypt in the 2017 AFCON qualifiers.
Manager Samson Siasia, defenders Godfrey Oboabona and Leon Balogun, and striker Odion Ighalo are among the players and staff to publicly speak about the clash with Egypt, claiming that the Super Eagles can beat the Pharaohs win both legs.
Taiwo urged the Nigeria squad to train hard instead of boasting, since the tough talk should be left for the pitch through the team’s performance.
“I like the enthusiasm being expressed by the players, but it is Egypt we are playing against and not a small African country,” he explained, and continued, “I would prefer them to do the talking with their performance on the field. Egypt is a strong African football country. They have not won the Africa Cup of Nations for a while and with a coach like Hector Cuper in charge, they will surely not be rolled over. Why not work hard in stop talking though, are the Egyptians also boasting?” he asked.
The player also spoke on his 2006 Africa Cup of Nations experience in Egypt and his excitement for the upcoming matches in Kaduna and Alexandria.
“In the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations, which Egypt hosted and won, the locals wanted us to play their team, though that did not happen. I’m excited myself but we must respect the Egyptian side too,” he said.
The 30-year-old continued and advised the players to focus on themselves by training harder: “My advice to the players is to talk less and work hard, and do what coach Siasia asks of them.”
The foreign-based players called-up to their national teams are set to join the squad of locals next week for the final preparations ahead of the first clash on March 25 in Nigeria and the second on March 28 in Egypt.