By Kate Obodo
Super Eagles Swedish coach Lars Lagerback is already enjoying support from the local constituency with former Super Eagles player Friday Ekpo saying he needs a lot of friendly matches to know the players he intends to work with for the World Cup in South Africa.

•FRIENDLY: Super Eagles Obinna Nsofor shields a Congolese player from the ball at the Abuja National Stadium on Wednesday. Nigeria won 5-2 Photo: Gbemiga Olamikan.

Ekpo, one of the few sport personalities who called for the engagement of a foreign coach for the Eagles, believes one of the way Lagerback will succeed will be getting to know the local players.

The Swede, who during the week was  unveiled to the general public during an International friendly between the Eagles and DR Congo, has been given a final mandate in South Africa by the Nigeria Football Association, NFA.
Ekpo also advised Lagerback to ensure that his team plays good football as Nigerians enjoy good football and also love to win.

“My advise to the new Super Eagles coach is simple. He should get himself acquainted with the players he intends to make use of at the World Cup by playing friendly matches. Nigerians love to see good football and also love to win, Lagerback must ensure that he delivers on both,” Ekpo said.

The former Lobi Stars coach seized the opportunity to welcome Lagerback to Nigeria and wished him well on his new job.

He however, thanked the NFA for making a good choice but frowned at  the mandate given him by the NFA to reach the  last four of the World Cup finals. He said such a target might not be possible as he advised the need for both local and foreign players who are skilful and able to compete with the world.

“I thank the NFA chairman and committee for making a good choice but the semi-final target cannot be achieve,” he concluded


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