By Ikenna Okonkwo
Super Eagles Stand-in Head coach, Salisu Yusuf has declared that his intention to leave out homes-based players ahead of Mali and Luxembourg friendly games was to test the legs of Nigerians plying their trade abroad.
Yusuf who spoke exclusively to Nigerian Pilot Sports at the weekend dismissed as untrue report that he was arm twisted by the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF to exclude players playing in the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL
According to Yusuf who further explained that already different test games are being designed for home lads added “I think you can prevent People from airing their opinion. One thing that is paramount that we are focused in repositioning of Senior National team.
“Some of the invited players have never had opportunity to play for Nigeria at this level. In the home front, we already know what they can do. It’s a step by step process. By the God of I serve, no one intruded into the list I drafted. We can’t call everyone at the same.
“If you observe in recent times, defence has been our challenge. And so, we are looking for way of solving it. I’m more local here than anybody.”
Meanwhile, the interim Eagles coach has disclosed plans to return overseas to understudy new Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola by the new English Premier League season.
Yusuf was recently at Scottish club Hearts to understudy their workings.
“I hope to understudy Pep (Guardiola) by the time he resumes at Manchester City. I was scheduled to do that when I finished at Hearts in Scotland, but I shifted it because I wanted to attend the CAF A license in Abuja.”
“My visit to Scotland was eye-opening and it showed to me again why cubs in Europe are very prepared because they have experts for all aspects of their preparations – from fitness conditioning to dieting,” the coach said
Guardiola will replace Manuel Pellegrini at The Etihad for the new season when Yusuf then hopes to visit.
Former Kano Pillars and Enyimba coach Yusuf, who has assisted Stephen Keshi, Sunday Oliseh and Samson Siasia, will lead Nigeria for two friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg in the new month.