BY PHILIPS ADEFIOYE
Former Super Eagles defender Uche Okechukwu has said that the country’s qualification for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations needs prayers to come to fruition..
Okechukwu told Sunday Vanguard sports in an interview after Nwankwo Kanu’s testimonial match in Lagos that football is not mathematics and that there were no more push overs in the game.
He said though the Eagles were going through a building process, what they need is encouragement and not criticism because there are no more easy games, adding that Eagles have quality players but it will take awhile before the team can assemble a solid team like the USA 1994 squad.
“For a team like Cameroon to be at the verge of not qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations, simply means that the era of push overs has gone. There are no more easy teams in Africa, if any super power in African football still thinks in such a manner, it will be like a dream when a small footballing nation will upset them.
“Though our Super Eagles are still going through a building process, that does not signify that we should not do our home work perfectly. Like I said the other time, no more easy teams. Not like before that you will go to Sudan or Zambia to beat them 4-0 at home but with hard work I am sure the Eagles will make it,” he said.
The Super Eagles captain to France 1998 World Cup stressed that the match against Madagascar should not be toyed with in Antananarivo because they have nothing to gain or lose, anything short of victory will dampen the Eagles hope to the next Nations Cup.
“We should go for nothing less than victory in Antananarivo against Madagascar because that is the match that will determine our fate and anything short of victory will mar our qualification,” Okechukwu, nicknamed ‘gentle giant’ said.