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Keshi: It'll Be Tough Selecting Eagles' Squad

•Eagles’ Coach, Stephen Keshi

•Eagles' Coach, Stephen Keshi

Nigeria’s Super Eagles forced a Catalonia selected side, who featured top Barcelona stars such as Xavi, Gerrard Pique and Carles Puyol, to 1-1 draw in an international friendly match in Spain on Wednesday. After the match, which was used as one of the build-up games for the African Cup of Nations, the Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi told MTNFootball.com that he expects a fierce competition for squad places before he announces his final 23-man squad for the Nations Cup

What is your impression about the team’s performance against Catalonia on Wednesday?

It was a great game. I must commend the players because they played to instructions. The purpose of the friendly match was to try out some formations and tactics and not to win at all cost, but knowing the pedigree and quality of our opponents, the boys gave their all and I must commend them for this and also Nigerians for their prayers.

•Eagles’ Coach, Stephen Keshi

You played as many as seven home-based players on the starting line up?

Again I needed to see that reaction from the players in a game like that and I must commend them because they lived up to expectation. It’s a test and confidence-building game and the boys from home needed this more.

Bright Dike got the only goal for the Eagles, how would you rate him?

He is a great kid, a fighter; he is hungry and wants to play. He is very committed and that is what I want from the players. If they are committed, hungry and ready to play 120 minutes then we are close.

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With the showing of the boys against Catalonia would you say you are close to knowing your team?

Well not yet. Some of the players are not here yet, but I could say I have an idea of what my team should look like.

With the performances of the players in training camp, it’s certain you would have headache picking your final 23-man squad?

It’s good to have such headache. I would look for Panadol (pain killers). But that is why we want stiff competition for places. We need these players to understand that nobody has a permanent shirt in the team. You must fight to get a shirt and if that would bring about headache for me as the coach, then I think it’s good headache.

You did not field Gabriel Reuben. Is everything okay with him?

Yes everything is okay with Reuben. We just decided not to field him today. There are more friendlies ahead and Nigerians will get to see him play for the Eagles.

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