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Can Super Eagles fly?

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Whoever coined the expression about shooting oneself in the foot must have had Nigeria in mind, for the Super Eagles are often the architects of their own misery.

With mind-boggling regularity they press the self-destruct button before and during major tournaments, this time by sacking coach Gernot Rohr just four weeks ahead of the Nations Cup.

Former captain Austin Eguavoen takes charge for a third spell—yet his appointment in the hottest seat in African football has been criticised by the fans. But Eguavoen, who led the team to a third-placed finish in 2006, has ignored the mumblings of discontent and revealed the squad’s target in Cameroon is to emerge as champions.

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New boss Jose Peseiro travels as “an observer”, with Nigeria in a tricky group. The Super Eagles must fly above their internal issues to reach the knockout stages.

Goalkeeping uncertainty, frailty at the back and a lightweight midfield were the problems that blighted the squad during qualifying for the Nations Cup and World Cup. Kelechi Iheanacho has gone off the boil, exciting Samuel Chukwueze is only just returning from a long-term injury, while Wilfred Ndidi provides the sole reliability in midfield.—BBC

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