SUPER Eagles head coach Sunday Oliseh has backed down on his refusal to invite West Ham winger Victor Moses to the squad and looks set to call him up ahead of Nigeria’s two-legged African Nations Cup qualification tie against Egypt next month.
Since Oliseh took over the Eagles, Moses has not played under him and the winger pulled out of two friendly games against Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo which took place in Belgium in October. Subsequently, Oliseh decided not to invite Moses to participate in December’s World Cup qualifier against Swaziland as a disciplinary measure to punish the player for shunning the call up.
However, with Nigeria due to play Egypt home and away between March 23 and 29, Oliseh is desperate for his best players and has had to swallow his pride and seek a rapprochement with Moses. After the recent Championship of African Nations (Chan) debacle during which Nigeria got knocked out in the group stages, Oliseh knows that his job could be on the line if there are any slip ups against Egypt.
Moses, 25 has scored seven times in 24 appearances for the Super Eagles since making his international debut in 2012 and could be vital against Egypt. Oliseh knows he will need experienced hands like Moses and other English Premiership players like Odion Ighalo, Mikel Obi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi to thwart the in-form Egyptians.
Oliseh said: “Yes, Victor Moses is still in our plan as all the players who are eligible to play for us are still in our plans aside those who have retired from the national team. The truth is that I will put a but to it at the moment as this team started with the game against Tanzania and is evolving.
“We have played 14 games since I took charge of the team and we lost our first official game against Guinea at the African Nations Championship. We have like seven or eight players from the Chan team that are good enough to play for the main Super Eagles and it is good when you have a large pool of players to pick from, so everyone will have to fight for a place in the team.”
Nigeria is second behind the Pharaohs in Group G’s qualifying zone with four points from two games, while the Egyptians have a six points. Former Super Eagles head coach Adegboye Onigbinde has said, however, that the sudden apprehension surrounding Oliseh, ahead of next month’s games against Egypt is expected because the former skipper does not have the requisite experience.
Oliseh had a dismal outing with the Super Eagles home-based team on his maiden international competition as national team coach as the squad failed to make it past the group stages at Chan in Rwanda. There have been rumours of a looming sack or perhaps the Nigerian Football Federation drafting senior, experienced technical advisers to work alongside the Oliseh when the qualifiers resume.