Keshi: I have sleepless nights over team selection


Keshi: Nigeria's Coach

Tunde Oyedele

Nigeria’s team coach, Stephen Keshi says he is having some sleepless nights over the selection of the final 23 players that Nigeria will parade at the African Cup of Nations.

Keshi: sleepless nights

Keshi, who is expected to announce his squad for the Nations Cup early next week, confessed in an interview that every player at the Super Eagles’ camp in Faro, Portugal deserves to make the team.

“Our preparation for the African Cup of Nations is going on without hitches, and the players are responding very well to our training schedule. But I must say the truth; there is selection problem now because all the players have been impressive in camp,” Keshi said.

The ‘Big Boss’ described the atmosphere at the Faro camp as cordial, but very competitive with the players displaying high work ethic.

He reiterated that the quality of players in camp has made it challenging for him and other Technical Crew members to draw up the final list for the Nations Cup, which kicks off in South Africa on 19 January.

Despite his selection headache, Keshi said he has an idea of the team that will represent the country at South Africa 2013.

“I’m doing my best to select a solid squad that Nigerians will be proud of. However, I have told the players to take the final list as they see it when I announce the squad next week.”

P.M.NEWS further gathered that the Eagles would depart their camp in Portugal for the competition venue, South Africa on Sunday, 13 January.

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Five more foreign-based players would join the 26 players in camp after their club engagements Saturday night, while Ik Uche is the only player allowed to arrive the Faro camp on Monday.

The injured Rizespor of Turkey striker, Kalu Uche is not likely to make the final squad, as the former Enyimba star was still battling to recover from the groin injury he suffered recently.

Meanwhile, Aminu Maigari, the Chairman, Nigeria Football Association (NFA), has said that the Super Eagles were now focused on the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.

Maigari told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone on Saturday that the team’s 1-1 draw with Catalunya at Barcelona on Wednesday would not distract them.

He said that the Stephen Keshi tutored Super Eagles victory in the international friendly with Catalunya was sign of the good things to come at AFCON and thereafter. He said the team’s focus was on the Africa Cup of Nations tournament where they were expected to perform well.

The NFA boss added that the boys would strive to do the country proud at the Jan. 19 to Feb. 10 AFCON showdown in South Africa. “You know that 2013 started on a good note for us, these boys rounded up 2012 well with very remarkable matches and even beating Venezuela 3-1.

“This is a very good ending, so this year has just begun with this kind of victory, so it’s a very good year for us.

“It’s good for the football family and for the players individually, they are committed and putting in their best but our target now is AFCON. “So, let’s get there and see what God will do for us, we are looking forward to seeing good result,’’ Maigari said.

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