A former international, Edema Fuludu, says the absence of Mikel Obi and Odion Ighalo will not make any difference in the Super Eagles formation when they play South Africa’s Bafana Bafana on Sunday.
The Eagles will host the South African national team at Uyo in the ongoing qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to be staged by Cameroon.
Fuludu, a member of the victorious 1994 AFCON squad, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos that the coach, Genort Rohr, had reasons for not playing them.
The captain of the team, Mikel, and striker Ighalo, will be missing in action in the qualifying match against Banana Banana of South Africa on June 11.
“The truth is that whether they are present or not, the show must go on and it’s important that we don’t disrupt the current formation of the players.
“They have won their matches back to back which has shown that they are making progress; the technical adviser has an approach to each match.
“I’m sure there are still roles that they can play and also remembering that Mikel has an injury.
“Contrary to speculations that the choice of the location of their clubs maybe a hindrance, everyone has a fair chance of playing in the team,’’ he said.
Fuludu, a former central defender, said that one of the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) mandates to Rohtr Gohr is to ensure that the Super Eagles qualify for the Nations Cup.
“How he chooses to go about the qualifiers is totally up to him to a large extent.
“He has a target and in his projection, he must have been able to analyse the players that fit into his plans.
“So, it’s totally up to him, their absence is not a snub whatsoever, we know they are experienced players, we can’t take that away from them,’’ he said.
On his expectations, the former Manager of Warri Wolves FC, told NAN that the match won’t be a walk in the park.
“The thing is that in as much as this match is crucial to us, we must tie all loose ends; there is no luxury for slips, we need to take our chances.
“It’s key that they play as a team, also they should play according to instruction and they should use their discretion when necessary,’’ he said.
Group B of the competition consists of Nigeria, Zambia, Algeria and Cameroon.