Don’t underrate Leone Stars, Ogunsanya warns Eagles

Former Super Eagles defender Seyi Ogunsanya is optimistic Gernot Rohr’s 24-man squad can get the job done in the 2021 AFCON qualifying double-header against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone.

The Eagles play their fellow West African foes November 13 in Benin, with the reverse fixture four days later in Freetown.

Ogunsanya, a member of the Enyimba side that won the CAF Champions League in 2003 and 2004, however, advised the Eagles against underrating the Leone Stars.

“You cannot underatte any team again in today’s football because if you do, you will get punished,” he said.

Ogunsanya, now a coach in the United States of America, said the return of regulars, who missed the friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia last month, would help strengthen the team against the Leone Stars.

The hard-tackling defender in his playing days also expressed fears about the Nigerian clubs’ preparedness for continental football, following eight months of inactivity due to COVID-19.

“The league can start without spectators first because talents are just there wasting without action. You’ll also want to imagine the teams representing us on the continent. How will they fare?”

The three-time NPFL winner says he is hoping to return to the country to contribute to the growth of young footballers.

“I’m a coach in the US, but I will like to return to my country to help young players and clubs,” Ogunsanya, a member of the Football Coaches Association of African Nations, said.

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