Salisu urges teamwork as Eagles battle Rwanda

Nigeria assistant coach Salisu Yusuf has urged the Super Eagles to work as a team  in their Morocco   African Nations Championship (CHAN)opening game  against Rwanda  at Stade Ibn Batouta in  Tangier on Monday.

The fifth edition of the tournament, which is exclusively for players plying their trade  in their own domestic leagues, kicked off  on Saturday with hosts Morocco hammering Mauritania 4-0 in Casablanca.

Nigeria are in Group C alongside  2014 champions Libya, Rwanda and Equatorial Guinea.

The clash between Nigeria and Rwanda kicks off at 7.30pm Moroccan time (8.30pm in Nigeria).

The match  will be preceded by the group opener between  Libya and Equatorial Guinea beginning from 5.30pm (Nigeria time).

Salisu, who is in charge of the CHAN assignment, believes the Eagles can win the tournament for the first time this  year if they work well together.

The former Kano Pillars manager called for the players to take advantage of the championship to play their way into the Russia 2018 World Cup squad, insisting any outstanding players have a chance to be on the plane to the world’s football showpiece.

“We are not here just for  CHAN. Everyone is thinking of the World Cup as well,” Salisu told on Sunday.

“For the players, they have a massive opportunity to play their way into the big one in Russia.

“However, at every opportunity, we  have made it clear to the boys that they must work as a team. If they win the tournament, the chances of some of the  players making the squad  to Russia will be high. No man can clap with only one hand. Teamwork is key for  this business.”

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr opened the door for  the  domestic league stars to their place at the  World Cup squad.

The German said,  “CHAN is a major competition and opportunity for us to take another look at the home boys. There could be some of them who will convince the coaching staff  that they can fight for places in the A team.”

Nigeria’s best performance in the tournament is a third-place finish in 2014.