By James Agberebi:
Former Nigeria international, Friday Ekpo, has urged the Nigeria Football Federation to appoint Salisu Yusuf as the new Super Eagles head coach.
The NFF have shortlisted the trio of Yusuf, Belgian Tom Saintfiet and Frenchman Paul Le Guen for the Eagles job.
On Monday, 18 July the NFF technical and development committee will meet to interview the shortlisted candidates and immediately name the next Nigeria head coach.
Ekpo posited that Yusuf has what it takes to succeed as Eagles coach.
“For me, Salisu Yusuf is the best choice no matter what, all he needs is the free hand to pick his players and form a good national team for Nigeria,” Ekpo told Completesportsnigeria.com.
“I will be happy if he gets the job, my mind really goes for him. I don’t know why because I’ve never been this positive about a Nigerian coach, but I think we should give him a chance to prove himself.”
Ekpo, who was in the Eagles squad that won bronze at the Senegal 1992 Africa Cup of Nations, dismissed claims that Yusuf will struggle with the overseas-based players if given the job.
“I don’t think Salisu will have any problem with the players based abroad, after all he chose some of them against Mali and Luxembourg, though some opted out because of flight ticket and other issues.
“The fact is that Salisu knows the terrain, he knows how many overseas-based players we have. And I believe he will want to put Nigeria’s name back on the world football map and we all should support him.
“If Salisu eventually gets the job, I think the NFF should give him three to four years contract in order to have the chance to show what he can do.”