Intrview by Richard Jideaka, Abuja:
Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi yesterday in Abuja finally signed a 2-year contract with the Nigeria Football Federation, saying it is a new dawn in his second coming. The Big Boss also assures in this interview that quality players will be considered while promising that Nigeria will be at the 2017 AFCON.
ON HIS FEELING AS EAGLES COACH
I feel good and I thank God for the opportunity to serve my country. I want to thank God for being chosen out of the 170 million Nigerians to serve. I am grateful to God and the NFF leadership for this chance to serve again.
ON AFCON 2017
We all have to join hands to ensure that we qualify. The federation, the media and the team have to give their best to Nigeria for the Afcon 2017 to be realistic for us. We can do it if we are focused and have the collective will to go to Gabon and win. We have taken every team seriously and the qualification will come.
ON PERSONAL TARGET
My personal target is to take Nigerian football to the highest level and Nigerians will appreciate.
ON PLAYERS INVITATION
I will not deviate from what I have done in the last few years by fishing out home grown talents and turning them to finished products. They are the foundation of every national team. A lot of us were products of this home policy. I came out from there like Henry Nwosu, Segun Odegbami, Adokiye Amasimaka and a whole lot of others. We have them here and if fund is readily available, we will start of immediately. I am always ready to work with home based players and if the NFF gives me the green light to continue to do that, I am sure it will benefit the nation.
ON FLYING EAGLES PLAYERS
These players have done well and I have been following the progress they have achieved personally and as a team, but Flying Eagles is not Super Eagles. Super Eagles is the peak of it for any Nigerian player and they must work hard to make it. If they can make it, why not, I made it as a 17 year old so also did players like Nwosu and some others. If they are good, I will play them but they must have the quality and commitment to play at that level.
ON PLAYERS IN DIASPORA
I will always give every Nigerian player the chance to play for their country from any part of the world. I was recently in contact with Sammy Ameobi but I can’t do it alone, the president and general secretary will be involved too. We have brought in Stephen Ukoh from Switzerland and we still have some out there and if their quality is good to play for Nigeria and they can give us what it takes, we would bring them in. They are Nigerians and are entitled to play.
ON RELATIONSHIP WITH MEDIA
Thanks for this question, for one moment; I never had any problem with the media. I think I am friendly with the media. I have never been against any media man or organisation. As a coach, you are bound to work with the media and that is what I have done everywhere I have worked but I have to be honest, if I am asked questions I cannot answer, I will tell you that I won’t answer. I don’t have problem with the media, I never had one but if you guys feel that I have said something you don’t like, I say sorry.