By Fidelis Ebu
Nwankwo Kanu, SuperÂ Eaglesâ€™ captain has charged the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF to embark on early preparation for the team if the country must have a good outing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa .
Kanu in an exclusive chat with Saturday Vanguard sports after the Eagles had beaten the Harambee Stars for the World Cup ticket, said, â€œWe have to start preparing early, thatâ€™s the secret if we must have a good outing in South Africa .
â€œYou donâ€™t have to wait untilÂ when the tournament is here before you start preparing, you have to start preparing now that weâ€™ve just finished the qualifierâ€, Kanu said.
He charged the NFF â€œto map out the plans now that weâ€™ve just finished, to map out the friendly games the Eagles would have to play, to map out whatever we would have to do regarding training tour and to make sure the way the players played during the qualifying games has to be changed. A lot of things have to be changed for a good outing in South Africa.
â€œWe have to work together, we have to improve our game, because we know Nigerians know what we can do, we know how we play football, we know the flavour that is in our football. But all the same, I believe there is a lot of pressure on the team and now that we have delivered, we have to sit down and go through the things that we didnâ€™t do well so as to improve our games in South Africaâ€, Kanu said.
On whether the Eagles are capable of representing the country in South Africa , Kanu retorted thus, â€œIâ€™ll say yes, but all the same there is always room for improvement. When we played France in a friendly, nobody believed we could beat France , and that is football and is not like it was a fluke.
â€œBut this is the World Cup and itâ€™s a different ball-game altogether, itâ€™s not qualification now, it’s not the African Cup.Â Itâ€™s an open place where you can do your best and show what youâ€™ve got. But like Iâ€™ve said, there is a lot of room to improve on the game and it is left for the coaches, it’s left for the FA to really put things together, because if you are well organised and you have a good package for the World Cup, you intend doing goodâ€.
He stated that while airborne to Nairobi for the all-important final group game, â€œwe knew how crucial the game would be and of course if we won and the game in Maputo ended in a draw, then we are there live in South Africa .
â€œWe played Mozambique in Maputo and we knew how difficult it was, but to some people they thought it was an easy game, that weÂ were supposed to win, that of courseÂ every game weÂ play we are supposed to win. But this is to show a lot of people that yes, we went there we didnâ€™t lose, it was a good point. And now Tunisia had been there and they lost. All the same, when we were going to Kenya, we believe if we won, then Tunisia was not going to any World Cup, because Tunisia was not going to beat Mozambique in Maputo.
â€œBut I thank everybody and we thank God, who made it possible for us to get the ticket. So, weâ€™re happy and I believe all Nigerians are happy too, that at least the first time the World Cup is being hosted in Africa, we are part of itâ€, he added.