By Jacob Ajom
Confederation of African Football Instructor and Match Commissioner, Austin Akosa, has cautioned Nigerians against expecting miracles from the new national team manager, Lars Lagerback.
Akosa was asked to guess what stage he felt the Eagles would get to at the World Cup in South Africa. The former President of the Nigeria Football Coaches Association was blunt and direct. â€œI am not expecting anything spectacular from these Eagles. I think what we Nigerians should realise is that Lagerback has very little time to prepare the team. What I will advise is that we should be realistic and start thinking about 2014, not this World Cup in South Africa.â€
He was adamant when reminded that Lagerbackâ€™s employers had given him a semi-final ticket as target. â€œHe will be a miracle maker, if he does well. I am not expecting this team to do well. If the team we saw in Angola is the same team we are going to parade in South Africa then forget the World Cup. That team was not good at all,â€ the CAF instructor remarked.
He refused to agree that Nigerian coaches were inferior to their foreign counterparts, saying that if given the same level of motivation his Nigerian colleagues could do as well as the Europeans.
Said he: â€They should give Nigerian coaches the same incentives as they are giving foreigners. Look at now, Lagerback has come, how many millions are they giving him for just five months?
They should give Nigerians those millions and see if they wonâ€™t succeed.”