Augustine Eguavoen has backed the appointment of Jose Peseiro as his successor as Nigeria coach at the end of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Former Super Eagles captain Eguavoen, 56, had been working as the Nigeria Football Federation’s technical director before being asked to replace long-serving boss Gernot Rohr and fill in on the bench until Portugal’s Jose Peseiro takes over.
As Nigeria face Guinea-Bissau in their final group game in Garoua on Wednesday, having already secured a place in the last 16 as winners of Group D with two wins against Egypt and Sudan, Eguavoen has played down talks of taking over the job on a permanent basis.
“I was part of the group that interviewed a couple of coaches and as technical director I was involved, which is a full credit to the NFF,” he said.
“It’s still up to the federation to decide. But if a contract has been signed we have to respect it.
“The only thing I can guarantee is that if Jose Peseiro comes in, we are going to have a very good working relationship. I know the terrain, he doesn’t.
“We have to provide him with the platform for him to be comfortable, relax and do the job. I will support him from the bottom of my heart 100%, because it’s not about me, it’s about the country.”
Under Eguavoen, the three-time African champions are dominating their opponents and playing with a freedom and flair that is translating to the fan base.
As the team continue to spread its wings in Cameroon, travelling fans and local media in northern Cameroon continue to chant the name of Eguavoen, and are urging the NFF to drop the idea of naming a foreign coach.
NFF president Amaju Pinnick has hinted that Eguavoen could retain the post should he lead the country to a fourth title, but the former Gent defender is not looking too far ahead.
“My mandate is to work with these amazing players and colleagues in Cameroon,” he told BBC Sport Africa.
“We have given the players the freedom to enjoy themselves and the fans a reason to believe in the team again.
“But we can’t pay attention to those calling us the tournament favourites now. I have no control over what happens at the end of this competition.
“Anything outside my mandate is not up to me and I just want to focus on the next opponent and take it from there.”
The former defender is in his third spell in charge of the Super Eagles, after managing the team from 2005-2007 prior to another stint as caretaker coach in 2010.
As a player, he won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations and represented the Super Eagles at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups. – BBC