Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has reached an agreement with Aliou Cisse of Senegal to have Sunday’s international friendly between both teams played behind closed doors, in order for them both to employ new tactics for their squads heading into the Africa Cup of Nations.
With this year’s AFCON drawing closer with each passing day, Rohr is of a view that it is time to start building match formations and strategies for the Nigerian squad, hence his decision to use Sunday’s game with Senegal to try out some fresh tactics before the continental showpiece.
Same applies with Cisse, as the ex-Senegal international is aiming for a heroic outing as coach of the Teranga Lions, who are yet to win the Cup of Nations in their history, despite hosting the championship in 1992 and reaching the final at Mali 2002, only to lose to Cameroon in Bamako.
As Cisse aims for glory in charge of Senegal’s squad to AFCON 2019, the ex-player, who was a member of the Lions’ squad that beat France in the opening match of the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan is in an agreement with Rohr that Sunday’s friendly will not even have television coverage.
Both coaches reckon that the best way to try out their new tactics is during a match situation, but they would be giving away their plans should the match in Ismalia, Egypt be thrown open to the prying eyes of soccer fans and the public, which might include scouts of AFCON rivals.
This much was confirmed in a radio interview by Eagles’ media officer, Toyin Ibitoye, who acknowledged that the need for secrecy has become very pertinent for both coaches, with the AFCON kick-off now round the corner, as June 21 will witness the opening match in Cairo, Egypt.
Ibitoye stated: “We are feeling the competition more than ever, and the kick-off is just around the corner.
“We are getting closer to the opening match, so both coaches have agreed that they will use Sunday’s friendly to plan their tactics.”