Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, has said that he is disappointed that Captain, Joseph Yobo, will miss Nigeria’s friendly against Mexico on Wednesday in Atlanta, Georgia, but called on the defender to focus on the 2014 World Cup.
The defender, who is currently on loan at Norwich City, pulled out of the squad with a slight strain and German-Born Leon-Aderemi Balogun has been called up to replace him. Keshi confirmed that Yobo had insisted on travlling to the US to support the team, but was advised not to.
“Yobo was still bent on coming for the game even if just to support the team but I told him to relax and recover quickly for the World Cup,” Keshi said.
Keshi also made it clear that uncapped Balogun, has not been called up to fill Yobo’s boots, but is part of future plans. 25-Year-old Balogun plays for Fortuna Dusseldorf and has made 21 appearances for the Club in 2 seasons with no goals.
“He is not replacing Yobo at all,” Keshi said. “We have to look to the future and that is why we called up Balogun, he has been in our plans for a long time and it was just time that he steps out into the team for us to see what he can do and I must say I am glad that he responded well and the boys here also welcomed him well.
“We also have an opportunity to see (Ezekiel) Imoh, who is a part of the system now for us to see what they can do to make the team better, we must look ahead.”
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