By Kate Obodo
Former Barcelona of Spain and Super Eagles attacker, Emmanuel Amuneke, has predicted a tough match for the Eagles when theyÂ lock horns with the Harambee Stars of Kenya in the crucial 2010Â World Cup qualifier in Nairobi next weekend.
The 1994 African Footballer of the YearÂ believes that with adequate preparation, the Eagles will subdue the Kenyans in Nairobi, adding that the state of the team matters.
â€œThe coach needs to get his side ready for the big and important game ahead. Rather than depending much on the professional aspectÂ of the players and praying for victory, Shaibu Amodu should prepare his team andÂ focus on their ability.
â€œIt is not about playing, itâ€™s all about getting set, knowing whatÂ is at stake. So far, we have watched the team play. The question is, are they ready? They have to get themselves ready. â€œSometimes it is difficult to say the truth.
It is not going to be an easy one, it takes more than prayers to win. Yes, we need to pray but prayer without work is disaster waiting in the corner. We must do our home work first.
â€œYou cannot ask for Godâ€™s help without first helping yourself. I am not that kind of person who believes the game will be easy without working hard.
They just need to prepare very hard because Kenya will not allow them to go with the maximum points. This is based onÂ three factors.Â First they want to qualify for the Nationâ€™s Cup, secondly, they are playing at home, and lastly, they are playingÂ in front of a vociferous crowd,â€ Amuneke said.
Putting himself in Amoduâ€™s shoes, Amuneke said it would be better if the coach utilise players who are capable of getting the job done.
â€œWell I am not Amodu, but if you ask me, first, I willÂ check and analyse what I have at hand. Looking at players, who can give out their best especially players who are fit. The most important thing is to make sure the boys are in high spirit.
They should also understand what is at stake but to crown it all, they should be psychologically, technically, physically and tactically ready if they must win,â€ the former Julius Berger and Zamalek FC attacker said.