EAGLES NEED NEW MENTALITY TO QUALIFY FOR 2014 WORLD CUP - OKOCHA
By CHIMAOBI UCHENDU
Eagles' former captain, Austin Okocha, has called on players and coaches of the Super Eagles to have a change of tactics ahead of 2014 World Cup qualifying rounds. In a chat last weekend at the closing ceremony of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sponsored junior Tennis Championship at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Okocha said the team must develop a new mentality as it moves into World Cup qualifiers because the Nations Cup and the World Cup are different competitions which must be approached differently.
He advised players who were still in celebration mood to cut short the party because Nigeria could not afford to miss out at next year's World Cup. He, however, praised the efforts of Coach Stephen Keshi and his technical staff for giving every player an opportunity to prove himself. ' I must warn here that the Nations Cup and the World Cup are two different tournaments that have different ways of approach.
'Therefore I want Keshi and his assistants to drum this into the ears of the players before they make mistakes that might be costly. 'I know Keshi is a thorough professional who understands what it means to play at the World Cup, so he will not allow anybody to distract his programmes. I understand that most of of the [layers that won the Nations Cup for Nigeria are still partying, I must warn them to get back to business because Nigeria cannot afford to be dumped out of the 2014 World Cup by those we consider as minors in our group.
I'm equally happy at the level of competition that has returned in the team as earning a shirt now comes with hard work and commitment especially with the home based players who are giving a good account of themselves. The game against Kenya is a must win for the Eagles so that we can have control of that group and run away from permutation when we find ourselves at tight angles.