Don't Celebrate Yet, Adepoju Warns Eagles

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Former Super Eagles midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju has warned handlers of the senior national team not to be carried away by Nigeria’s 1-1 draw against Catalonia in an international friendly match played on Wednesday.

The Eagles  played 1-1 draw with Catalonia, that included seven Barcelona players at the Espanyol Stadium.

The performance of the Eagles, led by Coach Stephen Keshi against Catalonia was applauded by Nigerians, who saw it as a  good omen of what to expect from them at the African Cup of Nations in South Africa.

Speaking on Brila FM early today, Adepoju, who played for Nigeria at the 1994 Nations Cup in Tunisia, said that it is not yet time for the team and Nigerians to celebrate. He added that there is still more hurdles for the team to cross when the competition begins on 19 January.

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He said: “I’m really glad that our players played a draw with Catalonia right at their backyard. But that does not mean the country’s team have arrived yet. “The fact that our backline was tested in the match is one of the positives we need to take away from the game. Although, we did have some shaky moments in the tie as well. I expect the coaching crew to work on the weakness of the Eagles before the Nations Cup proper in South Africa.”

Adepoju, popularly called ‘The Headmaster’  during his playing days, said the team still need more games before the African Cup of Nations, to reach a competitive level.

“Seriously, I’m happy to see that our players have begun to understand themselves. But they need more games before the Nations Cup to keep the team together,” he said.

—Bamidele Olowosagba