Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi assures in this interview with JOHNNY EDWARD that the African champions will rediscover their winning form when they storm Omdurman next month in continuation of the 2015 AFCON qualifiers. He also reveals contract impasse with NFF.

Coach what are the chances of the Super Eagles qualifying for the 2015 Nations Cup in Morocco after only one point from two games?

Well, we are not losing hope, we still have some games to be played and we will see how we come out better than the previous games we have played.

I know sir, just your views on our chances of defending our title?

Our chances are bright irrespective of the loss at home to Congo and the draw in South Africa. We know what we must do to get back in the race for qualification and with all the necessary support, Nigeria will be in Morocco.

But coach what went wrong in the home game against Congo?

Even as a player for the Super Eagles, I can’t remember the last time we lost at home let alone as a coach. It was so painful for me to lose a home game but we will make amends.

I really can’t tell you this was what went wrong but what I can admit here is that we lost and that’s football but we will make amends for the loss by qualifying for the Nations Cup.

We know where the mistakes occurred and we all saw that there were some improvements in our last game against South Africa, so we hope to build on that before the game against Sudan.

It’s always difficult to get three to four training sessions with the team because these players are coming from different leagues and getting them to play together and adapt, takes time which is never there.

That will stop because we have our backs against the wall and must win all games to stand a chance.

The game against South Africa for me also wasn’t any better.

Well, that’s your opinion but there were lots of improvements in the way we switched play but we lacked the cutting edge.

Does that mean the goals have dried up for your forward Emmanuel Emenike after 11 games for the Eagles without a goal?

His goals will come and I don’t think it is right for anybody to say that his goals have suddenly dried up. He has scored 15 goals in 26 games for Eagles which is a good ratio and I believe his best is yet to come for Nigeria.

We have two must win games against Sudan next month and taking you back memory lane coach, you were an assistant coach to Shuaibu Amodu when the Eagles defeated the Sudanese 5-0 in Omdurman in 2001. How optimistic are you about Eagles winning these home and away games?

First, I have to know if I’d be in charge of the games because talks of my extension haven’t reopened because we are still waiting for the new NFF president to open a discussion on that.

Secondly, there are no guarantees in football but we will strive to win and I believe that if we have faith in ourselves, we will come out victors.

When we beat them in 2001, it was with a different team with a different mentality and we must show hunger passion to win in Sudan which I’m certain the Eagles will display much more to win the match.

Would I be right to say that this sudden fall in performance is down to the delay in your contract extension?

Well I don’t know but I try to give my very best in the situation I find myself. It’s tough but I’m forging on and I believe this will come to an end when the new board is elected but i will wait to see how it goes. If we come to an agreement, yes I’ll stay. If no, I’ll depart but let’s see how it turns out when I get home.

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  • Michael 4 years ago

    Dear Big Boss
    I do not know how to reach you if any can please forward to him
    With hard work and improved management on and off the field you will have great result against Sudan (home and Away).
    The game that will kill us is Congo away
    In my Revelation the game is already won by Congo we `ve already lost in Congo.
    The Revelation means we must double our management humanly 200% ,right players,right tactics etc and behind the scene and most importantly prayers must be doubled.
    I am a fan of the Eagles I have no other team I love like Super Eagles ,I also also a fan of Keshi,Da-bull,Ike and I believe in a great Eagle.
    I am not asking for money by his grace I am sufficient if you really want to undo the result I will be willing to give you the prayer points and battle oriented prayers and by his grace we shall celebrate the Ticket.
    I am offering to intercede because I love Nigeria.
    One Nigeria One Eagles
    God bless You
    Michael Dvahyu
    Prophet of the Most High God

  • lucky Ukhun 4 years ago

    Since when have prayer points become the sole requirements for winning football matches?

  • SoccerInNigeria 4 years ago

    @Michael Dvahyu

    Thanks for your prayers. If you want to advertise what u do(such as visit inmates in Nigeria’s prisons and provide food the less priviledge) I can help you with that Pro Bono. The things you do to help fellow humans is wonderful and commendable, however please in the future do not try to deceive Nigerians that some how God will help Nigeria beat Congo in Congo. Are you saying that God does not love the Congolese? or that the land of Congo is a Godless God forsaken land?

    God is not in the Business of winning and losing Football matches. So please stop spreading ignorance. Most European National team players and coaches dont even believe in God, yet they continue to dominate world football.

  • lucky Ukhun 4 years ago

    I strongly believe in God Almighty.But I disagree with dragging His Holy Name into entertainment matters such as football.

  • Michael 4 years ago

    you are ignorant @SoccerInNigeria about who God is
    you go to war without prayers?
    did I say we should not plan? why is the prayer points your problem?
    I wrote as a fan and you can more about us on
    dont commend me and dont advertise me I don`t need it
    i do it for Jesus

  • Michael 4 years ago

    sorry all Prophesies
    and unlisted have come to pass

  • Michael 4 years ago

    Hello Mr Keshi, Please weild your disciplinary hammer when camp re-opens for the rest of our Super Eagles qualifying matches.Look,the Super Eagles are again becoming the “Super Chicken” They played as if they slept with two ladies each overnight before the match against Congo.However, I watched the last three minutes in the match against Bafana Bafana, so I cant analyse that match.One thing for certain is that all hands must be on deck if there is any deck to place hands at all, beginning with away match at Sudan.

  • Arrogance personified. Pride goeth before a fall. The “contract talks” or the NFF stalemate have nothing to do with the performance of the SE. The problem with the SE is the unforgiving, corrupt and incompetent PE teacher (masquerading as a coach) that Danagogo and his sycophants decided to foister on Nigeria after the WC. Ke$hi should have been allowed to go after the WC. He will fail in Sudan and the SE will NOT qualify for the AFCON 2015 if this Mafioso is allowed to remain in charge. Ke$hi lacks the relational skills and tactical acumen needed to succeed with a team like Nigeria. Continue with him at your own peril.

  • Tunexy4u 4 years ago

    I believe Eagles need to improve on the last performance, nevertheless Congo cannot stop us

  • Tunexy4u 4 years ago

    I think Keshi should consider introducing Kelechi Iheanacho in the mid-field and allow Mikel to play his defensive role because we need somebody who is mobile and fast. He is ripe for Eagles and we should not continue to duel on the past, we should move on and plan to win the next two games. We don’t create more chances in our games and it is high time we started doing that and allow our strikers to score goals. A stitch in time saves nine.

  • I also want inform the Nff not to think of hiring someone else (coach) for the remaining qualify ma
    tches, if u do, is going to be disastrous. Keshi should be allow to finish the work he started I believe he still has those magics that work for him. I remember the homebase super eagles he took to chan in south Africa last after they lost their first match against Mali they later bounce back and win the third place match. So please Nff allow him to finish atleast these qualifying matches for us.

  • detator 4 years ago

    i really don’t get it why keshi is be love and adore even when he is not doing fine with the supper eagles at present
    i love him during is football-years
    he did well for the green eagles at then but not as a coach
    he has no technical plan to execute matches
    keshi is not the answer to our football neither do the nff

  • Chosen Victor 4 years ago

    May I use this medium to implore the NFF to resolve their differences, and make proper elections so that the contract of coach Keshi can be signed on time. I want the coaching crews to invite the best players who can perform well. We talented players in the country but I don’t know what is wrong in selecting the best.

  • Keshi is not good enough for our team, period! A general that goes into battle with only a plan A fails evn when doing battle with weaker but determined and resource opponents. Most people complain about mikel playing the jay jay role simply because he wears the number 10 jersey, at the world cup it was ramon azeeze, same as player against congo and nosa ighabor played that role against south africa.

  • uchenna 4 years ago

    Kesh I am passionately appealing to u to please invite ike uche and iheanacho please!!!! It isa matter of life and death. Someone should me talk to keshi

  • MaximumPoint 4 years ago

    One thing i am very optimistic about is that Nigeria will teach the same Congo in their own country too that there is what is called retaliation. And this will be enough reason to tell everyone calling on Keshi’s head that the win in Congo’s favour in Calabar was the outcome of luck on their side and overconfidence on Eagles side. Soon we will see that that loss was a blessing in diaguise. This is my conviction. Feel free to state urs, but dont try to condemn mine, cos i know my reasons. Next month will justify and condemn all of us. Ndewo nu.

  • TruthisBitter 4 years ago

    I did not see much improvements in the game with SA keshi is talking about……they still exhibit inaccurate passes which as a professional is very bad no matter the limited time you trained,Keshi should not just hope the boys will do the job in Sudan by believing in themselves alone,he needs to have a tactical game plan,he needs to watch the Sudanese tapes to know their strenghts and weaknesses because he cannot afford to even draw a single game now or else he wont be able to defend the title he won…..they have all just been parading themselves as African champions with their mouths without any zeal to improve on their individual performance and contribution for the team…they are caught ball watching on so many occassions,they lose the 50-50 balls to easily,hold unto the ball too much allowing opponents to predict their type of play,breakdown attacks to often to rebuild from behind(Mikel) and they look the least threatening in the final third,shooting like unprofessionals they are scatterred over all the less competitive leagues in the world,Turkey,Isreal,Scotland,Ukraine and the Nigerian league

  • eric coates 4 years ago

    hello, the main problem about super eagle , firstly is the coach no technical or styles of play. mikel is not the way forward

  • People should leave KESHI alone. England were last in their group during the WC. Nothing was done to their coach. Holland lost their last match. The coach is still there. Many nations lost their matches. Nigeria is not different. The problem in NFF affected the players.

  • @Djeniko, you are an illiterate. The English coach is the best England have and that is why they are stuck with him. Van Gaal is no longer with the Netherlands, he is now with Man. United. Ke$hi has been a problem before there was a “problem” in the NFF. Just ask the Togolese and Malians. Nobody would give him a job after he got fired from Mali and he was also fired twice from the Togo job. He is an inept, arrogant, vindictive and corrupt despot and God is beginning to disgrace him.

    • Kola,us 4 years ago

      Who has ever , ever even given Siasia a job? Coaches are meant to be hired or fired so Keshi is no exception, Keshi is better than any coach you know in your entire life, what did your nigeria achieve before Keshi was employed. And again while looking into that tell us what Toho achieved before and after Keshi?

  • Kola,us 4 years ago

    Keshi , Emenike has not scored 15 goals for Nigeria, he scored 1 goal under Siasia and 8 goals under you. All in all he has 9 goals, the last time he scored was during the Ethiopian World Cup qualifier. He has played 26 matches and scored 9 goals.