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Atletico Madrid friendly 'is a window' to Super Eagles - Obuh charges fringe players

10:02 BST 22/05/2018
Wafu final: Nigeria vs. Ghana
16 home-based stars and four others have been invited to jostle for a chance to play against the 2017-18 Uefa Europa League champions on Tuesday

John Obuh believes Nigeria's friendly against Atletico Madrid 'is a window' to the senior national team for fringe players.

The Rojiblancos will take on the Super Eagles B side in the GOtv Max Cup at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Tuesday.

And the former Flying Eagles coach has charged the invited 23 players [seven foreign-based and 16 Nigeria Professional Football League stars] to take advantage of the opportunity and make a point for subsequent selections in Gernot Rohr's squad.

"I believe this is a window for the players to prove themselves for invitation to the senior national team," Obuh told Goal.

"We have a lot of talents in Nigeria, if we continue depending on the Super Eagles, many people will not have the opportunity and at the same time, many will be forgotten.

"The game is another avenue of showcasing players who we didn't make the World Cup squad.

"It's a very good game because recently a South African club [Mamelodi Sundowns] played against Barcelona.”

The 58-year-old warned the players against costly errors and stressed on how performances of the players from the Nigerian top-flight could shape public opinion as regards the Nigeria Professional Football League.

“I know quite well that Nigeria can stop Atletico Madrid but some of the players can be naive and make costly mistakes during the game,” he continued.

"The players are the ones that can give confidence for people to advocate for them. I feel happy when I see people advocating for the NPFL. However, it is left for the [NPFL] players to make it real with this kind of challenge and they should grab it with both hands.

"Games like this will either make people stand for them or stand against them. They should stand the authority and make people know that they can do it."

Sunshine Stars' Dayo Ojo, Katsina United attacking midfielder Destiny Ashadi and Enyimba left-back Ikouwem Utin were the only players from the CHAN 2018 setup that made coach Salisu Yusuf's selection.

And Obuh has called for more opportunities, and patience to be afforded players to display their talents.

“All this while we've been under trials and errors. Anthony Okpotu was invited for the CHAN tournament in January and this time, he is left out.

“If we can give more opportunities to the same people for some few games that will tell us what they can do. But when you invite a player once and there's no invitation again. It becomes difficult for improvement.”