By Muhyideen Jimoh
Augustine Eguavoen, former Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser/Interim Coach, on Friday in Abuja called for a long-term contract for whoever will be the team’s new chief coach.
Eguavoen told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) needs to do this to ensure the new coach gets the Super Eagles to fly high again.
“I will just say anybody coming in should be given a long-term contract, just like a long-time project,” he said on the sidelines of the presentation of Certificates of Occupancy of houses to members of the victorious Super Eagles team which won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Tunisia.
Eguavoen said it was going to be difficult to lead the team to success without having a long time to prepare it.
But he noted that the new coach would still have to rely on the present crop of players.
“You can’t just raise a new team. It’s always going to be difficult. Any coach that is coming in now will still work with 90 per cent of these players we have now,” the former Super Eagles full-back said.
Eguavoen who apologised for his inability to lead the Super Eagles to qualification for the Qatar 2022 World Cup said the team he handled was still a good side.
“First of all I will like to apologise for our inability to qualify for the World Cup. It’s very painful that we didn’t qualify and I know how much we love football in this country.
“But we didn’t lose the game. We only lost the ticket, and the fact that it’s a World Cup ticket makes it more painful.”
He said the fact that lack of time did not allow him to impose his football philosophy on the team was partly responsible for the failure to pick the World Cup ticket.
“I think we didn’t have enough time. If we had enough time to bring in new players and see them in friendly games and the coach is able to establish his DNA, I think it would have been better. But we need to move on,” the coach added.
Eguavoen, who is still the NFF Technical Director said all attention should now be on getting a new coach who would ensure qualification for the 2023 AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire.
Already, 46 countries including Nigeria have lined up to compete in the group stage of the 2023 AFCON qualifying competition which begins in June.
NAN reports that the NFF Executive Committee had on Tuesday mandated the federation’s Technical and Development Sub-Committee to “within the next five days” recommend a new coaching crew for the Super Eagles. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)