AFCON 2021: Eguavoen backs under-fire Super Eagles forward Umar

Super Eagles interim coach Augustine Eguavoen has expressed his confidence in young forward Sadiq Umar.

Almeria and Super Eagles forward Sadiq Umar

Augustine Eguavoen has backed Almeria forward Umar Sadiq to bag more goals at the Africa cup of Nations (AFCON).

Umar came under heavy criticism when he failed to score in the two opening matches in Cameroon. He however managed to silence doubters when he found the next against Guinea Bissau in the final game of Group D.

Eguavoen feels the criticism has been unwarranted and that Sadiq will eventually replicate his club form for the Super Eagles.

“We have a lot of confidence in him [Sadiq]. He has been scoring goals for his club. We know this is the national team,” Eguavoen said at his pre-match press conference on Saturday.

The former Super Eagles captain also said that goals are not the only thing a forward can contribute if he supports the team.

“This is a very big stage. He should first of all look for an assist before trying to score. He is an integral part of this team. We have absolute confidence in him.

“He is very young and we can understand that. As a striker, the first thing in his mind is to score goals. That is an instinct and that is normal, but this is a team." Eguavoen said.

Eguavoen sent a clear message to the Almeria striker that he needs to remain focused and ignore his detractors.

“We believe in you when you have a chance to score in a game you score if you don’t just pass the ball.

“We have a lot of confidence in you, so you are still part of this team. Do not let what other people are talking about you bother you.” Eguavoen said.

Sadiq would hope to grab a goal if he does get game time in the round of 16 game against Tunisia on Sunday.

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