Super Eagles interim coach, Shaibu Amodu, has submitted to the technical department of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) a list of 66 players with the potential of playing for the national team in the country’s remaining 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Republic of Congo and South Africa.
Amodu, who has a rich resume with the national team which he had coached on four different occasions in the past, was last week named at the head of a consortium of coaches, to prosecute the two crucial matches next month.
He was last in charge of the national team in January 2010, when he was sacked by the NFF in the middle of the Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Angola. He was fired in spite of having successfully guided Nigeria through the qualifying phase of South Africa 2010 World Cup.
Amodu, who met the NFF technical department with his assistants, Gbenga Ogunbote of Sharks, Salisu Yusuf of El Kanemi and Alloy Agu, told reporters that the players he recommended to the federation comprised of in-form local and foreign-based professionals with the ability to prosecute the two remaining must-win matches for Nigeria.
Nigeria will meet Republic of Congo in Brazzaville on November 15 before Eagles host traditional rivals, South Africa four days later in Uyo.
While fielding questions from reporters yesterday, Amodu expressed surprise at his temporary appointment by the new board of the NFF to salvage the Eagles as he had not coached at the highest level over the past four years. He similarly confessed that he received the news that he would be replacing Stephen Keshi with total shock.
According to him, he held the view that Keshi should have been allowed by the football authority to be in charge of the two crucial matches as the team could still reach the finals of the 2015 AFCON.
“I believed that it was not over yet and if were patient enough to allow him (Keshi) to prosecute the remaining two matches, he could probably see us through and at that level we would be able to appraise him properly.
“But it seemed that superior reasoning prevailed over my sentiment. So a decision was taken even after I made serious effort to decline as the situation, as they saw it, was different from what I can see from the outside.
“That was how I was offered the job even though I made my position clear to the NFF President that I preferred heading the technical department having being appointed that role three years ago. With our hands on deck, we should be able to salvage the situation by getting the six points,” Amodu confessed.
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