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Garba Lawal advices Keshi

14 May 2015, 19:06

Lagos - Former Nigeria international Garba Lawal is concern that if Stephen Keshi persists with his faith in overseas players, the nation might fail to qualify for the 2017 AFCON tournament.

The reappointment of Keshi as head coach of the Super Eagles has polarised opinion in the country.

As head coach, he failed to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, but led the team to become champions in the 2013 edition.

Lawal addressed Keshi's tendency to pick players based overseas and urged him to learn from mistakes made in the 2015 qualification campaign.

He stressed players need to be playing regularly for their clubs to retain their match sharpness, while it might sound impressive for a player to be on the books for a big European club, it doesn't help Nigeria's cause if their players are warming the bench the whole season.

Also read: Keshi to open camp in May

"My fears are that the players we have are not good enough to start games at their various clubs. We have too many Nigerian players warming bench at their European clubs," he told SoccerStar.

"The coach will find it very difficult to succeed with the quality of players we have in Europe if we must continue to depend on them.

"How can Keshi succeed when over 80 per cent of the players are not playing regularly?

"Finding yourself in such situation as a coach, what might be an option would be to rely on home-based players.

"For the fact that we monitor the domestic players frequently to know the level of fitness, we should look towards their direction. It will take quality players to qualify for the AFCON 2017."

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