Nigeria’s coach, Randy Waldrum, remains cautious despite the absence of key Matildas players, Sam Kerr and Mary Fowler, ahead of their Women’s World Cup clash.
Both Fowler and veteran defender Aivi Luik have been ruled out of the upcoming match at Suncorp Stadium due to concussions suffered in separate incidents on Tuesday.
Additionally, Sam Kerr was already sidelined with a calf injury, preventing her from participating in the opening 1-0 win over Ireland.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Waldrum expressed sympathy for the injured players, acknowledging the devastating impact of missing matches in the World Cup.
“Well, we never like to see players injured, and I know how devastating that is, missing matches in the World Cup,” Waldrum said, as quoted by Mail Online.
However, he emphasized that their absence does not alter Nigeria’s tactical approach, as Australia still possesses a formidable line up with other dangerous weapons.
He added: “But I don’t think it really changes our tactics and what we’re trying to do – they obviously still have a lot of weapons that can hurt you.”
Having coached in the NWSL and being familiar with many of the Matildas’ players, Waldrum understands the quality they bring to the game.
“I know a lot of their players really well from playing back in the NWSL when I was coaching in the pro league, and I know the quality of those players, so we can’t go into the match thinking we’re at some advantage for that reason.” The American tactician said.
Waldrum’s team is fully aware of the task at hand and is prepared to face a strong and competitive Australian side in the upcoming encounter slated to hold on Thursday, July 27.