–Big Boss insists players’ attitude also counts
The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals came to a fitting end Sunday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea with out- of- contract Nigeria Manager, Stephen Keshi reckoning that Super Eagles could have made a massive impact if the team had participated in the tourney.
Nigeria won the trophy for the third time in South Africa in 2013 under Keshi. But two years later, still under the Big Boss, the same team failed to qualify for the tournament’s finals in Equatorial Guinea where they could have defended their crown.
Contract renewal row between the former Nigeria captain and his employers, NFF was however fingered as part reason why the Eagles failed to fly to Malabo.
The 53-year-old after watching the 30th edition of the AFCON in Equatorial Guinea on the television posits that big and perhaps best teams don’t always win in tournaments but teams with the right attitude and work ethics stand bright chances of winning.
“Yes, We could have made an impact if we were there though, it’s not impossible”, Keshi said.
“The question is, do the players want to defend and win? There are a lot of things that go with playing and winning.
“If Nigeria had qualified, retaining the title would have largely depended on preparation and subsequently the players’ state of mind and what their motivation is”, offers the former Togo and Mali National Teams coach to www.footballlive.ng.
“It depends on how well the team prepares going into the competition. The players’ individual ambition also is a factor too”, Keshi said.