Odegbami says Oliseh needs time to build Eagles

Former Nigeria international, Segun Odegbami, has said Nigeria coach, Sunday Oliseh, needs at least two more years to build a formidable Super Eagles team.

Oliseh took the reins of the Eagles from former coach Stephen Keshi seven months ago and has led Nigeria to 14 matches. The coach lost his first competitive match at the 2016 African Nations Championship in Rwanda when Guinea beat Nigeria 1-0 to end the Eagles’ journey at the tournament. Nigeria left the competition, which was won by DR Congo, with four points from three matches.

But former Nigeria striker, Odegbami, who spoke with journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, said the coach made a mistake in not telling Nigerians the true state of his team from the start, but is confident that the coach would qualify the country for the 2017 African Cup of Nations.

He said, “Nigeria at present does not have the players to win every competition. The country only has a few that can give us hope. These few can help us qualify for the 2017 Nations Cup but when the race for the 2018 World Cup begins proper, we will find it difficult to cope. If we qualif y, then we are lucky.

“Nigeria needs at least two years with Oliseh – if the proper things are done –before we can have the Super Eagles of our dreams. The right things to be done include looking inwards at the local league; developing it and supporting the players to go to the right environment for training and adequate motivation for the team.”

The former Shooting Stars forward said, “When Oliseh took up the Eagles job, football in the country was at its lowest ebb. The Eagles were in a bad state when he took over because we didn’t have the quality players he needed to have immediately raised the Super Eagles that will win everything. So, he needs time to build the team.”

Also, Henry Nwosu and Justice Christopher, who also reacted to Oliseh’s recent comments, advised the Nigeria coach, to be humble to enable him to succeed at the helms of the Super Eagles job.

Oliseh has been criticised since Nigeria exited CHAN. Although the former Ajax player has apologised to the Nigeria Football Federation for his outbursts, Nwosu and Christopher, who spoke with our correspondent in separate interviews, believe the coach would succeed if he could be more humble than he currently is.

Nwosu said, “Oliseh needs to be more humble than he is at the moment. It takes humility for someone to accept criticism and not respond to every word he hears.”

“The coach of any team is always open to criticism but what he would do is to select the constructive ones and throw away the others. Not everybody will abuse or insult you. There are others that will tell you the truth about your team.”

Former Eagles midfielder, Christopher said, “Oliseh is a good coach and I believe he can lead the Eagles to an enviable height but he needs to work on his attitude to criticisms.

“A lot of people derive joy from the Eagles and want to see the team succeed. Nobody expected to lose to Guinea and that is what will put him under pressure going into the next match against Egypt.”

“His outburst now and subsequent apology also will not help him in the books of some Nigerians. A coach should be humble enough to accept criticisms, especially the ones directed at his person and his team.”

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