By James Agberebi:
Former Nigeria international, Moses Kpakor, says that lack of consistency at squad level is one of the reasons Nigerian clubs have not been doing well in CAF club competitions lately, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Nigeria's only surviving club on the continent this year is Rivers United in the Total CAF Confederation Cup.
Enugu Rangers got knocked out in the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederation Cup, while the duo of FC IfeanyiUbah and Wikki Tourits were eliminated in the Confederation Cup.
The last time a Nigerian club played in the final of the Champions League was in 2009 when Heartland faced TP Mazembe, and lost on the away goals rule.
In a chat with Completesportsnigeria.com, Kpakor who won the CAF Cup Winners'Cup with BCC Lions in 1990, posited that players must spend time together for a long time in order to do well on the continent.
"The problem with Nigerian clubs on the continent are multi-dimensional," Kpakor stated.
"But I think that players change clubs too frequently. Clubs sack too many players by the end of each season which means the players don't get to understand each other.
"By the end of this season, you will hear clubs sacking 15 players and these are the same clubs who just few months ago recruited 30 players. So these are some of the problems our clubs face. Hardly will you see a club that has players who have played up to four years together.
"When you look at BCC Lions in those years, you see players who have played for seven, eight years together. Every year you hear the name of the same players. And by implication, it means coaches have problems when it comes to introducing systems that can win matches for them."
Kpakor stated further: "If a coach comes with a new system in the first season, if he is allowed to continue, by the second season, the players would have grabbed what he is trying to pass across to them.
"So we need to change, and the management must do something about this. And I am surprised because when you look at these clubs, you find people who played football and who are in management, but they cannot be patient with coaches and players."
And on Rivers United being Nigeria's only surviving club on the continent, Kpakor, a member of the Super Eagles squad that won silver at the 1990 Africa Cup of Nations in Algiers, advised the players to see it as an opportunity rather than a burden.
"I spoke to players of Rivers United in Bauchi and I told them that they are our only hope now on the continent and that means a lot of responsibility on them now.
"But I made them to understand that they can turn it into a big advantage because it is a massive opportunity for them being the only Nigerian team left."