Head Coach of the Super Falcons of Nigeria, Randy Marlon Waldrum has called for caution as the team prepares to face co-host Australia, who are without three key players.
The Super Falcons will also endure their share of misses after Deborah Ajibola Abiodun picked up a red card in the latter stages of the game against Canada.
Chelsea forward – Samantha Kerr, Manchester City’s attacker – Mary Fowler, and BK Häcken FF defender – Aivi Luik have all been ruled out of the encounter against Nigeria on Thursday due to injury concerns.
Both Aivi Luik and Mary Fowler suffered concussions during training on Tuesday, while Samantha had been ruled out earlier before the start of the tournament due to a calf injury also sustained in training.
For Waldrum, the imminent absence of these players from the Matildas ahead of the clash, won’t change the intended approach of his team or lead to a false sense of security.
“Well, we never like to see players injured and I know how devastating that is, missing matches in the World Cup,’ Waldrum told the media in a pre-match presser.
“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.
“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,” he said.
Coach Waldrum will also hope for a more clinical approach in Brisbane, as the Super Falcons could only muster one shot on target from 10 attempts in the opening encounter while failing to score a goal.
“At this level, it’s all about getting results and getting points out of it.
“Maybe I would worry more if we weren’t creating opportunities at all but we have been.
“It’s a very, very difficult group. So you’re not going to be putting in four or five goals a game in this kind of group.
‘So I’m not worried about that. We have quality in the team, we have players that can score goals and we just have to make sure when those opportunities come that we’re clinical.”