Super Eagles defender, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Aderemi Balogun, Bryan Idowu and Tyronne Ebuehi are heading for tough days ahead in training with the Nigerian national team, as the technical crew is set to put more attention to shoring up the back-four.
Troost-Ekong, Ebuehi, Balogun and Idowu are now considered the Eagles starting four in defence, while Shehu Abdullahi, Kenneth Omeruo and Elderson Uwa Echiejile have gone down the line, but losses to Serbia and England appeared to expose their frailties.
This has led to feelers from the Eagles’ new camp in Austria that Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr is thinking of laying out a new tactical formation and plans to drill his defenders tougher than ever.
Rohr is unhappy with their failure to keep clean sheet in their last three games, a 0-2 loss to Serbia , 1-1 draw against DR Congo and the recent 1-2 loss to England.
With that in view, Rohr started on Monday with drills on the defence line, on how they will react to set piece situation, as England exploited their inability to defend high balls into the balls on Saturday, particularly for the goal scored by Gary Cahill.
Balogun and Troost-Ekong who are the preferred choice of Rohr in central defence will be heavily involved with the full backs also expected to take part in cutting out crosses.
Defence will be the area of concentration for the technical crew, while hoping to see new form when the Eagles take on Czech Republic on Wednesday in another friendly game.
In Saturday’s game against England, Troost-Ekong partnered Balogun in the first half, but the latter was then substituted as Nigeria reverted to a back three to claw their way back into the game.
Troost-Ekong admitted afterwards that he actually excelled alongside Omeruo and John Ugochukwu Ogu at the heart of the Eagles defence in the second half, they ensured that England could not score a third goal in the second half.
Troost-Ekong said the switch to 3-5-2 formation helped the Eagles to have a grip on the game, same way the tactics enabled England to dominate the first half of the game.
“It was a game of two different halves, first half I think the tactics were different because they were playing 3-5-2 we seem to have one man less all the time. Which means a lot of possession all the time and it was difficult for us to play.
“I think in the second half when we turned it around we showed we can handle a team that plays 3-5-2 when we play the same . Same way we played against Argentina, I think second half was very promising.
“We learned a lot. How we played the second half is something that we can build on, when we played against a team now that plays 3-5-2 we know how we can attack them from the start.
“These are the type of games you play before the start of big tournaments where you make mistakes and then you learn,” Troost-Ekong concluded.