By Aderonke Ojo
Football fans in Abuja have urged the Super Eagles and their crew, to step up their game ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON) and the 2026 world cup qualifiers.
They made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
They said that in spite of the 3-2 defeat of the Mozambican national team, their performance was not satisfactory.
Bunmi Haruna, a former under-17 National Football Assistant Coach, said the Eagles’ encounter with Mambas had served its purpose to test the team’s ability to face other opponents.
“Though we won the game, no one can say he or she is satisfied with the play because we had a one man advantage for larger period of the game and we didn’t make it count.
“The positive sides is, I think Frank Oyeka deserves to be in the starting line up in the next game,the coach should pair him alongside Wilfred Indidi,” he said.
Haruna advised the coach to work on the goal keeping department by searching for additional keepers to build up the team in that aspect.
“Obviously, we have a problem in the goal keeping area. The two goals scored by the mambas, if well analysed, are the goal keeping errors.
“The goal Keeper, Francis Uzoho could have done better in this areas but he did not utilise the chance.
“I feel bad that Coach Jose Peseiro could have try out a new goal keeper in this friendly game.
“We will be on our knees praying that we will not regret doing that in the subsequent matches, “he said.
He, however, expressed confidence that the coach would follow up with suggestions from stakeholders in the sector and advice from other experts.
“We will continue to be hopeful that he will be able to put the best combination for the World Cup qualifier against Lesotho and Zimbabwe and other subsequent matches.
“Sincerely, this Eagles have not inspired confidence in their fans and am sure that they themselves are not confident with their abilities,” he said.
Akpan Bassey, a footballer said that unless the Eagles step up their game, no fan will stick out his or her neck out for them in the World Cup qualifying series unles.
“Nevertheless, let’s see what would happen as they are still having more chances to play and I pray that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will encourage them to do better.
“Just three days preparation for coach Peseiro to assemble the players, to me that was not acceptable,” he said.
He said that there was a need for the NFF to begin to search for players that can fit into the Super Eagles as the current ones retire.
Sadiq Abubakar, a business man, attributed the poor performance of the Eagles lack of time for preparation.
He urged the crew to henceforth create enough time for the players to play together as a team
“It is left for the team manager to draw his plan and he knows the best way he can effectively manage and succeed with the team,“he said.
Onumah Ejike, a footballer said the goalkeeping position was in dire need of restructuring, adding that the coach has a lot of work to do in that direction.
“Our keeper still needs to work on his defensive organisational skills, the ability to dive to save a low shot, and to jump to parry the ball over the bar.
NAN reports that the Super Eagles will host Lesotho in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Uyo and play their second match away to Zimbabwe on Nov. 13 and Nov. 20. (NAN)