Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, was a sober figure after the team lost 3-0 to Spain in its last group game on Sunday and thus crashed out of the Confederations Cup in Brazil.
SR Sports learned that the manager has already started a post mortem. He is quoted as saying that despite the confidence he had expressed about suitable replacements for his injured players, it turned out that injuries actually determined the fate of the Super Eagles at the tournament.
“I can’t imagine that my top striker Emmanuel Emenike will miss some of the goals that we missed and even Ogenyi Onazi was sorely missed,” a source quoted him as saying, “Victor Moses would have ruined any team here and of course several other players that should have been here could not make it due to injuries. Among them, United States-based Bright Dike.”
Appealing to Nigerians to forgive the team for the less-than-average performance at the tournament, Keshi is looking forward to the World Cup, also in Brazil, in 2014. “We want to come back here next year and make an impact. This is a dress rehearsal and I can assure that the Super Eagles will be among the top nations when the Brazil 2014 World Cup starts.”
Keshi is further said to have spoken about “fresh options” for the national team when the team assembles for the final World Cup group qualifing match against Malawi in September, but did not specify what those options are.
On his next challenge, Keshi is preparing to work to ensure that Nigeria qualifies for the African Nations championships meant for players playing in local African leagues (CHAN).
“We would go back home take a few days rest and prepare for our CHAN qualifiers against Cote d’Ivoire in the coming days and hopefully we should be able to make it through,” he said.