A former Green Eagles player, Felix Owolabi, on Thursday, advised selected players that made Coach Gernot Rohr’s provisional list to stay committed to the course of winning the tournament.
Owolabi gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
NAN reports that the Nigeria coach has released a 25-man list ahead of the 2019 Africa Nations Cup in Egypt.
“I believe the coach has scrutinised these players and he’s convinced that they can deliver, so, no matter the noise we make about inclusion or exclusion of some names, the coach’s decision supersedes.
“The most important thing is for these players to show commitment and give their utmost best in the challenge, it’s important that Nigeria as a team give a good account of itself.
“I hope the selected ones understand the confidence the coach has in the them to deliver, they must do their best not to fail him and disappoint Nigerians.
“We have missed this tournament for two years as defending champion in 2013, we have struggled so much, so we need to put our best foot forward,” he said.
Asked on his take on the inclusion of John Mikel Obi, the Captain of the team, he said: “Well, I believe the coach must have his reasons.
“But if we are good students of history, we will understand such move always comes as a disservice at the end of the day.
“In the past when things like this happened, like in 1982, when we were preparing for the World Cup qualifiers, some players that were fired were suddenly asked to come back.
“At the end of the day, we never got to Spain, in 1978, a similar scenario happened.
“What I’m trying to say is that when a group of people have laboured and at the end of the day somebody new is coming,” he said.
NAN reports that Obi’s last engagement for Super Eagles was at 2018 Russia World Cup.
NAN also reports that Super Eagles of Nigeria will play in Group B alongside Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar. (NAN)