14th June, 2012
Super Eagles’ Coach, Stephen Keshi has expressed cautious optimism that if the players are healthy, focused and play according to his technical plan, the Eagles will beat Rwanda in Saturday’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
Keshi told P.M.Sports at the Transcorp Metropolitan Hotel in Calabar yesterday during the Super Eagles Open Day that Nigerians expect a lot from his team, which are undergoing a rebuilding process.
“Nigerians are not patient when it comes to building a national team that can stand the test of the time. This is what we need at this point in time,” he said.
Keshi said that though he does not know the game plan Rwanda will adopt in the crucial match, he believes that with the right attitude, Nigeria will win the tie.
“Rwanda may have a different game plan from what they played last weekend and we cannot be sure of what this would be,” he said.
The coach revealed that his plan is to build a team that after the qualification, can play to win in the January Cup of Nations in South Africa.
He disclosed that the Eagles had a hectic time in Blantyre when they played against Malawi because they were not familiar with the pitch and have had no time to train as they arrived late, “but it’s going be a different ball game in Calabar on Saturday if we play our game according to plans,” he said.
Keshi also disclosed his intention to invite the likes of John Mikel Obi, Osaze Odemwingie, Taye Taiwo and few other foreign-based players back to the Eagles. He said he wants to build a strong team that can withstand any other team, either in Africa or the world.
“What we are expecting at the end is having a very good squad, we are trying to get this gradually, but I still have some players out there that I have to bring in to make the team a very formidable squad, because I feel there are a lot of experienced players out there that we have not given the chance to showcase their talent.
“But this is going to take place in the next few months, to make sure that everything is fine so that when we qualify for the Nations Cup in January, we’ll have a better squad to prosecute the tournament,” he said.