A Super Eagles former Assistant Coach, Ike Shorunmu, on Monday September 26, reportedly urged the team to defeat the Chipolopolo of Zambia to brighten their chances of qualifying for World Cup in 2018.
Punch reported that Shorunmu said that every player invited to represent the country should see it as a call to national duty.
He said, “Getting an invitation to the national team is a privilege, invited players should ensure that they justify their inclusion in the team and make the nation proud.
“As we all know talents are everywhere, so, for you to be selected means the technical crew has confidence in you to represent the country.
“I can only urge the players to play as a team, resume camp early enough and listen to instructions and obey them.”
On Odion Ighalo’s exclusion from the list due to family engagement, Shorunmu, the number one goalkeeper in the 1990s, said that his absence would not affect the team.
He said, “Odion is a fantastic player but just as we know, one man does not make a team; there are other players that can fit in. Others are equally good too.
“I believe as a team, the boys will qualify from the group stage which will console us a great deal for missing out on the Africa Cup Nations in Gabon.”
Ighalo was excluded from the list to enable him to attend his father’s burial scheduled for Oct. 8.
Ighalo scored 17 goals in 42 appearances last season in the English Premier League.
The Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has released a 23-man squad for the first leg of the encounter against Zambia.
Rohr beefed up the team with Turkey-based defender, Kenneth Omeruo and Belgium-based Anderson Esiti.
Other members of the team include Captain Mikel Obi and his Assistant Ahmed Musa.
Others are goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, defender Elderson Echiejile, midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and Manchester City of England forward Kelechi Iheanacho.
English Premiership duo of Isaac Success and Alex Iwobi, were added to the fold.
Injured KAA Gent FC of Belgium striker Moses Simon is also listed after assuring Coach Rohr that he has started treatment and would be fit for the encounter.
All invited players are expected to have arrived in Abuja by Oct. 2