By Richard Jideaka, Abuja:
Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh has cleared the air on why in-form striker Odion Ighalo of English Premier League side Watford FC was not included in the list of 18 foreign based players invited for the game against Tanzania in Dar Esalam next month.
According to Oliseh, who took charge of the Eagles training for the first time on Tuesday, leaving out Odion Ighalo does not mean that he is not good and not needed in the Super Eagles, adding that he would
invite the striker in subsequent games involving the Super Eagles.
“Well, Odion Ighalo is still in our plans but for this first game against Tanzania, we
are inviting only two players for each position,” Oliseh explained. “We are trying to get competition into every position. It will be useless bringing in three professionals for the same position, paying for flight tickets and other things without using them
“Of what use is it bringing three strikers and not being able to use one or two. And come to think of it, we have
some heavyweights in (Emmanuel)Emenike and (Anthony)Ujah in that position and if need be, we might play the two of them.”
He continued: “But if we want the best from our players, we must give them some respect. Emenike is a Nations Cup winner, a strong player. Ujah scored 10 goals In the German league. The league that hosts the world champions.”
Oliseh said that though he is not happy with the turnout of the players in camp he is impressed with the attitude and level of fitness of some of those in training. He had only 14 players in training in the morning out of the 23 invited.
Asked why he is laying emphasis on overseas-based players, Oliseh said those who say they rely mainly on foreign players to play should start asking questions because “we are back home to train and we don’t have people to train. Because every club is trying to hold on to them. So, how do we now want them to learn and catch up with the ones that are in front of them. You can see that it affected our training today, we have to change our training,and from the beginning. We had invited 23 and we ended up with 14 players. So, I will leave you to judge from this.”