By Eddie Akalonu
Former coach of theÂ Â Super Eagles, Christian Chukwu has called on Nigerians to allow the players and coaches an atmosphere of peace an tranquility to prosecute the 2010 World Cup/African Nations Cup campaigns to a logical end.
He said criticisms of the team are so much it could not only distract the team from their objective but also capable of derailingÂ it completely if not well handled. â€œIt is not who takes the first step that gets victory.
The team have been working hard to earn us the World Cup ticket and I would urge our people to have patience and let the them perform under an atmosphere of peace and not one of harassment. Football is never played under such condition and result will never come that way. So let us allow the professionals do their job. The coaches and players are professionals out to give the country good service.
They will qualify despite the standings now,â€ he stated.When asked to proffer solutions on how the campaign could hit gold, Chukwu said â€œAmodu and I have been talking. We are always in touch and when we make contact we discuss necessary issues. Thatâ€™s when I make my views known to him, under an atmosphere that it is understood and taken.
I would urge Nigerians to end the spate of criticisms of the players and coaches because thatâ€™s not the best way to go about it. The way Nigerians have gone about it may end up distracting them. They are also human beings with feelings which if injured may not bring out the best in them.
They cannot be shouted down or assaulted verbally and people think itâ€™s the way to bring about improvement. So we must find subtle and convenient ways to talk to the team and not in manners that demoralise or cause disaffection among players and coaches.
Now is the time to give them total support. I have been there myself and I know how it feels and how others in the team too feel when not being encouraged but hassled by the public. So if we qualify, those who can would attend the World Cup and not the team alone,â€ he said.
His former team-mate and former Mobil Pegasus coach, Charles Bassey supported his stand on giving the Eagles encouragement for the rest of the World Cup campaign saying that a united front was what the team needed to fly Nigeriaâ€™s flag in South Africa next year.
â€œWe need to form a united front of total support for the team to ensure they win the ticket which I see as possible. They need to be encouraged all through the matches. We must stop any action that could cause problem for the team,â€ he said.
Bassey, who said the team was on course, urged Amodu to turn deaf ears to the blames being apportioned by the public, said the same people would change tune when the Eagls beat Tunisia, a tie he said would determine the winner of the group. â€œI know the horizon would brighten up for us after the next match which should come in our favour.