By Richard Jideaka, Abuja: Former African Coach of the Year Kadiri Ikhana has urged Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr to play teenage goalkeeper Francis Uzoho in all the team’s friendly games to boost his confidence as first choice to the World Cup in Russia, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Ikhana Backs Uzoho As Nigeria’s World Cup No.1, Pleads For Ajiboye Chance
Ikhana told CSN that the Deportivo Lacorona goal tender’s performance against Poland and his debut against Argentina where he kept clean sheets have shown that he is the best of the three in camp and should be encouraged with more games.
“Francis has shown what he can do with more exposure to big games,” Ikhana, who led Enyimba to the CAF Champions League title in 2003, told CSN.
“He has the physical and age advantage over the other goalkeepers being looked at by the coach for the World Cup and he has shone in the two games he played for the Super Eagles so far.
“I noticed that he was jittery at the beginning against Poland but he gradually grew into the game and made some saves to keep Eagles in the match. His confidence level will continue to rise with two clean sheets from two against Robert Lewandowski-led Poland and Argentina.”
“Of course iit’s the World Cup where every country goes with their best players; if the three goalkeepers in camp in the estimation of the coaches are the best, so be it, but I would want Dele Ajiboye to be given a chance to compete too. Uzoho will come good if properly groomed.”