Super Eagles need consistency, stability, says Jay Jay Okocha

By Olanrewaju Akojede


A former Super Eagles Captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, on Thursday urged the Super Eagles to be more consistent and stable in their quest to maintain the team’s status as Africa’s number one.

The mercurial midfielder gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the unveiling of the African Heroes Penalty Cup in Lagos.

Okocha, who just celebrated his 30 years of his first call up to the Senior National team, said the Super Eagles team had been less impressive in recent years missing important competitions like the World Cup.

“We all want to see our Super Eagles doing well, we know how it is painful not to be in the World Cup, the team needs to steady the ship.

“The Super Eagles need to be more consistent, which is so obvious that they are not. We all know that we are a demanding nation when it comes to football.

“We are not short of talents, so it is all about putting a strong team together; a team that can represent the nation the way they should.

“We as ex-players will always support them and wish them all the best,”he said.

On the contract extension of the current coach of Super Eagles, Jose Pesseiro, Okocha explained that he expected the Nigeria Football Federation would take an informed decision.

“Football is a result-based game, if a team is doing well, they get the reward and if not they get otherwise. If the coach is not doing well, his appointment will be in question.

“It is not in my place to advise the NFF what to do about Pesseiro’s contract, because they are there for a reason, they should take a wise decision and get it right,” he said.

Okocha also advised in-form Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen to put his head up and maximise the opportunity available to him.

“My advice to Osimhen is to remain grounded and keep the passion and spirit high. It is clear that he plays with hunger and that is what I like about him.

“Osimhen should not let down his guards,” he advised.

The former Paris Saint German player also said his participation in the upcoming Africa Heroes Penalty Cup would offer him a reunion with his former colleagues in football.

“The attention for me is to have the opportunity to compete once again, this our comfort zone, no pressure to perform.

“Although it is a competition, I will be meeting with my former colleagues and foes,” Okocha said.

NAN reports that Okocha is the Tournament Facilitator of the African Heroes Penalty Cup in which he will feature alongside Daniel Amokachi and Finidi George to represent Nigeria.

The African Heroes Penalty Cup will be held in Lagos at yet-to-be-annouced date later in the year.

The eight African countries that will participate in the inaugural edition include Nigeria as host, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Cameroon, Mali, Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal.

Each country will have three representatives to play a knockout quater-final game till the finalist emerges to produce the eventual winners of the competition. (NAN)