Abuja - Former Super Eagles’ Head Coach Adegboye Onigbinde has said that the Super Eagles’ performance against Cape Verde, tells a bad story about African football.
Onigbinde told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview on Thursday in Abuja that there was a need for the technical crew to improve on the team. The former Super Eagles’ handler was reacting to the team’s 0-0 draw against Nations Cup debutant, Cape Verde, in an international friendly match on Wednesday.
NAN recalls that in their first friendly match on Jan. 3 in Spain, the Eagles held the stars studded Catalonian side to a 1-1 draw. The two matches were part of the team’s build up for the 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) scheduled to hold in South Africa from Jan. 19 to Feb. 10. Nigeria is one of the 16 teams participating in the tournament.
"I did not see any exciting moment throughout the ninety minutes of the game and that tells a bad story about African football. "But I hope the technical crew will work on the team and make them improve,’’ he said. Onigbinde, who is a renowned CAF and FIFA instructor, added that the team’s performance against Catalonia was a fluke and should not be used to assess it.
"The match we played against Catalonia was a fluke. Fluke in the sense that all those stars paraded in the opponent’s side had another match for their club the following day. So, they did not come out and play with full zeal which we saw on the pitch; we shouldn’t use the match as an assessment of our team in anyway,’’ he said.
He, however, expressed the hope that the team would lift the trophy. "My expectation of the team as a patriotic Nigerian is that I am waiting for them to come back with the trophy. But I know it does not come with magic nor by talk, but by hard work, and that depends on what the coaches do with the team,’’ Onigbinde said.
Reacting to the 23-man final list released by Coach Stephen Keshi, Onigbinde said the coach had the exclusive right for the choice he made. "He is in charge of the team and he has the exclusive rights to make the selection of players he feels will be needed. Also, he is the only one that knows the system he wants the players to play and I am sure he made his selection based on that. So, the only thing left is for the technical team to ensure that the players deliver and not fall short of expectations,’’ he said.