25th May, 2010
Nigeriaâ€™s Super Eagles will tonight play their first match the new Technical Adviser Lars Lagerback.
The team will have their hands full when they confront Saudi Arabia in Austria at about 6 p.m tonight.
Ahead of the international friendly match, which is meant to prepare the team for the World Cup in South Africa, Lagerback has directed the Eagles to play a high tempo game.
From his very first training session in Abuja last week, the Swede has emphasised the virtues of quick movement and finding the penetrating pass behind the defence.
â€œFrom the first training, he is looking at attacking football. He is looking at a passing game. He is looking at a penetrating pass, a pass that creates danger, less square passes and more forward passes. He keeps reminding us that we have to play beautiful football and that results are also very important,â€ Osaze Odemwingie told KickOffNigeria.com.
Yesterdayâ€™s training session in Austria emphasised the point, with Lagerback pushing the players to move the ball quicker and to find the forward pass to release the strikers.
Joseph Yobo and Danny Shittu, who played the centre back pairing, were encouraged to play the ball out of defence.
Lobi Stars defender Terna Suswan was played at right back and asked to bomb forward at every opportunity.
But Lagerback is still keeping his cards closely guarded; only promising that every player will get an opportunity to turn out before the North Korea game.
â€œWe have two games to play and every player will get a chance to play.â€
Meanwhile, Bayelsa United goalkeeper Akpan Bassey is earning high praises from officials and team mates alike for his performance at the Super Eagles camp.
Bassey, a former junior international, is one of only two players from the domestic league who made the cut from an initial list of 44, with Lobi Stars right back Terna Suswan the other.
Both players have impressed the coaches, especially Akpan, and Super Eagles media Officer Idah Peterside says the goalie has been particularly worthy of praise.
â€œHe is doing very well. Very well indeed and the coaches have been really impressed with him.
â€œNot only the coaches. Even (Joseph) Yobo spoke very well of him and how he is performing. in training.
He has been really impressive and looked really sharp.â€