FORMER international Daniel Amokachi has expressed pain over the non-qualification of the Super Eagles to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
The three-time African champions were denied a place in the next edition of the biennial Africa football showpiece after tumbling to Egypt in Alexandria.
According to ‘the Bull’ who now manages JS Hercules in the Finnish second division, Nigeria’s failure to qualify for Gabon 2017 was due to players’ inability to adjust their mentality when on international duty.
And he is keen for everyone to remain grounded and warned that there is still a lot of hard work to be done to reach the demanded levels. “The players when they return to play in Africa on international duty forget to switch [mentally],” Amokachi told Fifa.com.
“It’s something that we kind of struggle with – not only as Nigerians, but as Africans.
“You play in Europe and everything you get is professional from A-Z and then when you come to Africa, the likes of transportation and accommodation can seem a distraction.
“The players forget to switch to being an African when they come back and that always makes them perform less than what they do at club level. I’m sure that has contributed to Nigeria not making it to back-to-back championships.
“Not qualifying for the tournament is not good enough for a country like Nigeria, but that’s football. It makes you sit up and say: ‘We have a lot of work that needs to be done,” he concluded.