Former Super Eagles midfield generalissimo, Friday Ekpo, has told Nigerian Pilot Sports that newcomers as well as bench warmers who starred for the national team against Chad suffered from stage fright in last Saturday’s Nations Cup qualifying game in Kaduna.
Coach Stephen Keshi handed first ever full start at the international level to debutants trio of defenders William Ekong and Kingsley Madu, and midfielder Anderson Esiti.
“The Super Eagles did well to earn the maximum points against Chad although their performance in the first half was not good enough. I believe it was the new players who were jittery apparently because they have not played in such a large home crowd before,’’ said Ekpo who clocks 45 on August 13.
Ekpo said the likes of Leon Balogun, Omeruo, Babatunde and Gbolanhu Salami ‘’who warmed the bench in Europe last season were played without confidence and composure in the first half.’’
He insisted that with Coach Keshi returning to the post for another spell in the Super Eagles, ‘’we don’t need to keep rebuilding the team again.
The former international expressed optimism that the team will improve and consequently qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
Nigeria will next travel to Dar es Salaam to face to the Taifa Stars of Tanzania in the first week of September.


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