By Richard Animam
Super Eagles coach Shaibu Amodu during the week trimmed down his 32-man list to 24 ahead of the teamâ€™s departure to Durban, South Africa, where the team would prepare for the Nations Cup in Angola which kicks off on January 10th 2010.
Shooting Stars Sports Club General Manager Mutiu Adepoju believes Amodu is banking on his old reliables, those who made it possible for him to secure both the Nations Cup and World Cup tickets.
Adepoju says he does not see anything wrong except that they must be able to produce good results at the Nations Cup, which is more of a dress rehearsal for the World Cup in June. â€œIt is clear that he is sticking to the same set of players. He knows them and believes in them and as the man in-charge, he calls the shots. Presently, there is nothing anybody can say or do about the team rather than sit and watch what the outcome would be in Angolaâ€, Adepoju said.
The former Super Eagles midfielder said Eagles qualification for the World Cup billed for South Africa later in the year, has greatly reduced the pressure on the Super Eagles, stressing that at the Nations Cup, the players will be under less pressure and are expected to do Nigeria proud.
Adepoju went on to say that Nigeria cannot afford to fail in Angola and advised Amodu to take each team as they come in the competition, adding that Angola might be a warning bell for Amodu and his team.
On how far the team can go at the competition in Angola, The â€˜Head Masterâ€™, as he is fondly called by admirers, said he will be very happy if Nigeria gets to the final of the competition. HeÂ was however quick to add that, he knows that it would not come on a platter of gold, stressing that the team needs to work really hard.
â€œWe have the players who can deliver and they would be playing under less pressure, that gives me some confidence but they need to really work for good resultsâ€, he said.