Former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Sani Toro has backed Coach Lars Lagerback to undo the damages caused by erstwhile Super Eagles coach, Shuaibu Amodu, by leading Nigeria to a credible outing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
As the euphoria over the appointment and subsequent unveiling of 61-year old Lagerback as the technical adviser of the Eagles gradually wanes down, Nigerian soccer experts have been weighing on the suitability of the Swede for the top job at a time that the country is running a race against time to get ready for the biggest soccer showpiece event on the continent.
One of the persons who has been keeping a keen eye on the unfolding developments is Toro, who told Sports Vanguard, that he was comfortable with the appointment of the man who spearheaded Sweden to defeat Nigeria 2-1, in a group match at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
â€œI feel that Lagerback can undo the damages caused by Amodu. I say this on the condition of the coach being given the chance to work for the good of the team. Lagerback would succeed if we get our acts in order and allow the coach to have whatever he deems necessary to implement a successful campaign at the World Cup.
â€œThe choice of Lagerback came as a surprise to some but to me, it did not come as such because I know that he is a good manager of men and does not condone slack performance and has zero tolerance for indiscipline and these are the traits that we want from whoever is going to manage our team at the World Cup.
â€œHe can organise our team if his programmes are allowed to run smoothly and can return our team to the path of honour. In all, he is a good choice out of the lotâ€, added Toro.
He urged Lagerback not to ignore home-based players when inviting players for the first phase of camp for the World Cup.
â€œPlayers abound in this country but the motivation is what is not there for them. Once players know that you are going to offer them a chance to showcase their skills, they would reciprocate with good performance and that would make the whole exercise competitiveâ€, said Toro.