Porto boss allays Sanusi injury fear

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FC Porto manager, Sérgio Conceição has shrugged off concerns that Nigeria international, Zaidu Sanusi, has suffered another injury following his early substitution in The Dragon’s 2-1 comeback win over Vitoria Guimaraes on Saturday, SKYBLAST TV reports.

The Nigerian drew level for Porto before he was taken off raising concerns among fans following the left-back recent injury history.

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Porto suffered a shock 0-1 home league loss to Estoril last weekend and fell behind again at the Estádio Dom Afonso Henriques, with André Silva giving Guimarães a 17th-minute lead.

However, Sanusi popped up in the box to head home the equaliser in the 39th minute off a Francisco Conceição cross.

The Super Eagles left-back was replaced by Brazil’s Galena in the 55th minute, four minutes before Conceição netted the winning goal for the Dragons.

There were concerns that Sanusi’s substitution resulted from picking up a knock but coach Conceição has waved away any injury talks.

While admitting Sanusi was at the receiving end of some tough tackling, the Porto boss revealed he replaced the Nigerian because he was not performing well.

“He suffered a strong tackle, was in difficulty, and before that, I felt he wasn’t at his best,” Conceição said of Sanusi at the post-match press conference.

“We shouldn’t forget the time he was out, the two games he played after the injury, and picking up competitive rhythm is never easy.

“He deserves credit for scoring, and when I saw him struggling, I brought in Taremi and Galeno, moving Pepê to a deeper position.

“It paid off as we could have scored more goals. We lacked aggressiveness in different finishing areas; we showed the potential but need to be more effective.”

Sanusi’s recent injuries mean the player has not been invited for the Eagles’  World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe this week and has been afforded enough time to rest and regain full fitness.

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