Keshi pleads for time to rebuild Eagles
Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, wants Nigerians to give him more time to build a team that would meet their expectations.
Nigeria on Saturday laboured to defeat Chad 2-0 in their opening game of the on-going Gabon 2017 African Nations Cup qualifier in Kaduna.
Speaking against the backdrop of the boos his team got from the fans, who kept calling the side ‘Super Chickens,’ Keshi said the fans should give his team more time to get things right.
“We are not making up excuses. Rather, it is a fact that this is a new team, and we will need to play together for some time to get things right. But I have a lot of confidence in this team, and we will continue to re-build in order to get better,’’ he said.
Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2015 edition of the Nations Cup and some of the fans said Super Eagles’ performance at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, on Saturday did not give them the confidence to believe things have changed. But Keshi advised Nigerians not to fret too much.
According to the coach, the team’s first half performance was lethargic because “we had three new defenders and needed to study their pattern of play to make the team stronger.
“The defence showed better composure in the second half and I believe that with time Nigerians will not have reason to complain again.”
Although he is satisfied by the team’s victory, Keshi said the technical crew would return to work to ensure that everything became right.
He added, “The game was competitive, but I am happy we came out victorious because that will enhance our performance in our next match.
“In the first half, there were a lot of precaution, mistakes and anxieties. But after the half time we had to make the substitutions, and those of Rabiu and Odion changed the game for us and led us to victory.’’
One of the more experienced members of the squad, Ogenyi Onazi, was sent off towards the end of the game for a childish offence, but Keshi Says it is normal of game like the one on Saturday.
“I m not blaming Onazi for his action. I would have probably done worse if I were in his shoes. But we will likely miss him for two or three matches, because it was a straight red card,’’ he said.
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