Abuja - Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi says his players needed no extra motivation to beat the Lone Star of Liberia on Oct. 13 in Calabar as they were already inspired to do well.
Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja ahead of the team’s clash with the Liberians in the 2013 African Nations Cup qualifiers, Keshi said his players needed no monetary motivation to excel.
The coach, who spoke during the team’s weekly interactive session with the media, said it was the Liberians that actually needed motivation to beat the Nigerian side.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria will host Liberia in Calabar on Oct. 13 in the second leg match of their final qualifying round fixture.
Already, the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has been reported to have promised the Lone Star rewards in U.S dollars if they can upset the form books by defeating Nigeria's Super Eagles.
NAN recalls that their first leg encounter last month in Monrovia had ended 2-2, and the winner over the two legs would qualify for the Nations Cup scheduled to begin in South Africa on Jan. 19, 2013.
"The promise is good motivation for the Liberians, but the Super Eagles are already motivated enough to win by the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), the Nigerian government and its people.
"This will surely be seen when they file out on Oct. 13 against Liberia,’’ Keshi said.
He, however, said his contention did not mean that the team’s players and officials did not need money if offered but that prestige was a bigger motivating factor.
"We surely need money for the players and officials, but that is not the motivation now. The need to return to the Nations Cup is the driving force.
"The players are angry that they missed out the last time and they want to prove that they have returned to be among Africa’s best. Money will surely come later," the coach said.
Keshi also said the team would be delighted to see President Goodluck Jonathan in Calabar for the game, saying his presence would boost the team’s spirit against the Lone Star.
He pleaded for more support for the national football team from the media, government and the Nigerian people generally, saying such support would help team's composure.
"In Calabar, even when we don’t score early, they (spectators) will keep on cheering, believing that the goals will come. The same thing happened in Kaduna when we played there.
"So, we must tell Nigerians, particularly the media, to spread the news that we want that type of spirit, not only to qualify but to do well at the Nations Cup," Keshi said.
NAN reports that the arrival of Sharks FC’s Stanley Okoronkwo and Heartland FC’s Kalu Orji, who were called up late last week, had heightened the battle for places in the squad.
The duo had replaced the injured pair of Papa Idris and Reuben Gabriel, both of Nigerian Premier League champions Kano Pillars FC.
As at Wednesday evening, the team’s camp had 22 home-based players, while 15 players were being expected from Europe to join the camp.