In a worldwide Google+ hangout session moderated by Tunde Koiki, Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi outlines his master-plan for his team’s opener against Iran. The session was monitored by Complete Sports’ JOHNNY EDWARD who was also live with the coach.
How prepared are the Eagles for tonight’s game against Iran?
We are ready for the game. What I do on the bench won’t change the outcome of the game if my players don’t carry out the plans we have for the game. But if they stick to my plans, we will by God’s grace win the match.
How much do you know of the Iranian national team?
I know the team very well; the coach and his philosophy. I expect a tough game from them because this is World Cup. His experience with his former teams like Manchester United and South Africa will come to play in the encounter, but we will be ready for them. I know they are defensively solid but we will break them down by God’s grace.
How fit are the players especially Omeruo who has become one of the key players in the Eagles’ defence?
Omeruo is fit and ready for the game. We have no serious injury concerns going into the game and I just urge Nigerians to pray for us and be patient with us.
The attacking midfield role has been a source of worry for the Eagles in their last three games. Which player amongst Ramon Azeez, Michael Uchebo, Osaze Odemwingie in the team fits that position in your view?
We are yet to decide on that at the moment because all these players are doing well and I have absolute confidence in all of them for any specific role they are asked to play. But whoever gets the nod will definitely deliver.
The replacement of Elderson Echiejile by Ejike Uzoenyi comes as a shock to many who believed a natural left back should have been called in to replace him. What were the reasons?
We needed a player who could defend well and also help in the transition of play from defence to attack. That was a major reason why he was recalled to the team.
What is the level of your confidence in Juwon Oshaniwa going into the World Cup?
I have absolute faith in Juwon for this game and his ability to handle pressure that comes with the World Cup. There are lots of players who are making their debut at the World Cup and they have done relatively well.
Has the bonus row which caused a stir in Miami been fully resolved?
You are asking the wrong person, ask the players and the officials.
Finally, what was the mood in camp like after the reported row between Emenike and Mikel Obi?
The mood was fantastic and let us leave it at that.