By Bamidele Boluwaji:
Former Super Eagles handler, Samson Siasia has told Complete Sports that the recent FIFA rating will make the senior national team stronger as they prepare for the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Chad and Tanzania next month.
The 2013 AFCON champions remain in 45th position after two friendly matches against Uganda and South Africa while they are 8th in Africa in the ranking released last Thursday by the world football ruling body, FIFA.
The National U-23 Eagles coach who reacted to the ranking said he believes it will make the players to work harder when they are called upon next month for the African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
“Ranking does not mean a team lacks quality but it is a way of telling the players that they need to do more and if we played two friendly matches and Nigeria still remain in the same position in the ranking, then the players need to work harder and make sure they improve on that,” says Siasia.
Also reacting to the Super Eagles ranking was former national team midfielder Mutiu Adepoju who urged Coach Stephen Keshi to make sure there is improvement in the team by ensuring that dedicated players are invited for the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
“When we talk about ranking, it means the performance of the players and you can only talk about good performance when you have quality players in a team, so now that the ranking remains the same and we have the Nations Cup qualifiers coming up next month, I will appeal to Keshi to ensure that he invites quality players for the games”, says the Kwara Football Academy Administrator.
Adepoju however tipped the Super Eagles to qualify for the 2017 African Cup of Nations.
“I am sure that Nigeria will qualify having missed out on the 2015 edition. We have learned from that and with the Keshi’s appointment being confirmed by the NFF, I am sure that we will make it.