Eguavoen defends inclusion of Bonke, Noble

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Super Eagles interim coach Austin Eguavoen has defended the choice of both midfielder Innocent Bonke and goalkeeper John Noble respectively as replacement for injured Wilfred Ndidi and sick goalkeeper Maduka Okoye for the 2022 World Cup playoffs against the Black Stars of Ghana to get replacement for injured Wilfred Ndidi.

Eguavoen noted that the lack of defensive midfielder in the standby list necessitated invitation to Bonke who has been part of the national team set up to replace the Leicester City.

If you look at the standby list there was no defensive midfielder there. It is quite unfortunate that Ndidi is out but Bonke is somewhere in my heart and he has been part of the team in the past and so we invited him,” Eguavoen stated.

The former Kortrijk of Belgium defender also disclosed that he settled for Noble as a replacement for sick Okoye after he got clearance from Enyimba head coach, Finidi George and the club’s medical team that he was fit.

He said he scouted some players including goalkeepers during his visit to league venues but that they would be introduced gradually later.

I have watched a couple of league games and I have seen Stanley Nwabali, Olorunleke Ojo and a couple of others. I am one that likes to pay attention to details,” Eguavoen said. “I remember that John Noble was subbed off in Enyimba’s game with Wikki Tourists in Bauchi.

“I called my colleague and friend, Finidi George and asked him what the true situation was about Noble and he assured me everything was okay.”