Siasia Recalls Balogun For Egypt AFCON Qualifer
Says Only Suitable Players Will Play Against Egypt
Following criticism by some Nigerians of the list of players recently released by the interim coach, Samson Siasia, for the two-leg qualifiers against the Pharaohs of Egypt, Super Eagles defender and FSV Mainz 05 player, Leon Balogun, has been invited to strengthen the team.
The Eagles are currently second behind Egypt in Group G and both teams are scheduled to do battle in this month’s group decider in Kaduna and Alexandria on March 25 and 29 respectively.
The invitation to Balogun brings the number of overseas-based players called for the crucial matches to 21.However, Siasia has asserted that only those who show guts and grit, and the ability to adapt to conditions, would be fielded against the Pharaohs.
While affirming that there would be no bias in his selection, Siasia stated that the two training sessions preceding the two games will determine the 18 players that will be up for selection.
“These are two matches that we have to win. There would be no looking at what someone had done in the past, or current form at club level. If you are doing well at your club at the moment and you can’t show ferocious form in training and ability to adapt to the environment, then you would have no place.
“I am excited at the debate that has been generated by the team list. You can never satisfy everyone. The important thing is that we know the players we want for these big games and we have invited them, and we believe in them to deliver.”
While calling for support from Nigerians, Siasia expressed the belief that the Eagles can do it, adding, however, he has received assurance from the players that they are battle-ready for both games.
“We will continue to ask for the support of every Nigerian as we count down to the two matches. Our people should believe that we can do it, and we will do it.”