By Ben Efe
Former Green Eagles defender and veteran coach, Kelechi Emetole has backed coach Stephen Keshi to present a formidable team that will go places at the 2013 Nations Cup starting January 19 in South Africa. Emeteole hinged his optimism on the players and team capacity building programme Keshi embarked upon when he took over from Coach Samson Siasia in November 2011.
Keshi has played myriads of friendly matches with different players and with this, coach Emetole, believes the former Super Eagles captain will not court mediocrity in South Africa.
“Nigerians should bank on Keshi to present a solid team for the Nations Cup.
“He has been trying out players since he came in and I expect him, as a former captain of the national team, coach of Togo, Mali and now Nigeria, to give Nigerians a good team that will go far in the tournament.
“He has been doing what we call preparatory training with those friendlies. Now he has a month to do qualitative training and we expect nothing but good results. Keshi will not fail us and I want Nigerians to give him all the support.”
He added that last Thursday’s result in Miami, USA where the Eagles beat Venezuela 3-1 should not be used as a yard stick to measure preparedness of the team, rather it is the first group C game against Burkina Faso in South Africa 2013 that should be used to gauge the readiness of the team to do well.
He urged the Nigeria Football Federation and the Sports Minister to give the team all the necessary support rather than heap pressure on the coaches. “The coaches shouldn’t be put under any pressure. I read that the minister is trying to teach Keshi his job. What does he know about football, where was he when Keshi was playing,” he asked rhetorically.