KESHI IN SEARCH OF MIDFIELDERS
After playing two friendly matches in Benin and Kaduna, Super Eagles' new Coach, Stephen Keshi, is still searching for midfielders to beef up the team.
Keshi told journalists after recording his first victory as Eagles' coach against Zambia that he was looking forward to injecting more midfielders into the team.'I did not say I would overhaul the team. But where changes are needed, we will make them.
I had like 10 strikers today and I was looking for midfielders to play, but I couldn't find them and I can't put a striker to play the role of a midfielder,' the Keshi said.'I need to have the number of players in every department; that would allow me to change players any time there is need for that.'
On the assessment of the team, Keshi said: 'I really commend the players for their attitude on and off the field. It was really encouraging.
'I'm looking forward to the next call-up against Rwanda. Now I know the players I would want to call back from the group I use for the matches in Benin and Kaduna.
It's then that I will try and pick some players from the local league,' the coach revealed.
'The match against Zambia wasn't really about victory, but for me to see the quality of the players and those I would need for next matches. However, the victory came and we thank God for that.' The former national team coach of Togo, however, praised the Joseph Yobo-led defence for doing a good job in the team.
'The defence is not a problem, but we will work on every department to have a solid team.
'In Kaduna, we lost the midfield because Fegor (Ogude) was injured and had to go off. (Dickson) Etuhu was fagged out for playing two games in three days and there was no replacement for him.
'These are the things I'm looking at. Yusuf Ayila was also injured in the last minute, and that was why he didn't play.
So, we need to have capable players that are of the level to play for the national team at the Nations Cup and the World Cup.'Some players in the current team will not come back because they do not merit to be in the national team.'
Keshi said he would be surprised to see John Mikel Obi play for Chelsea this weekend following his unruly behaviour in the national team recently.
'I would be disappointed if he (Mikel) plays for Chelsea this weekend. I would be very, very disappointed with him.'There is no sentiment in this business. Whoever will come to the national team must come on merit.
It's a shame Nigeria will not play at the 2012 Nations Cup, so we have to start now to work harder for better days ahead.
'We must bring players that are available, capable and in good shape to come and play in the national team.
They must fight for shirts in the national team just like I did when I played for Nigeria.'