Joe Erico, a retired goalkeeper of the former Green Eagles in the 1970s, wants total support for the Super Eagles’ Coach, Stephen Keshi, in the October 13 clash against the Lone Star of Liberia in Calabar.
Erico who spoke in Lagos within the week suggested that Keshi should be given free rein to make the changes which would ensure that Nigeria qualified for the 2013 edition of the African Nations Cup.
“For Super Eagles to qualify for 2013 AFCON, we need to throw our weight behind Keshi, because nobody understands a team better than their coach.
“So when he picks or drops a player, he must have his reasons for doing so; and I strongly believe that Keshi knows what he is doing.
“Though it’s only natural for people to throw tantrums, but as a coach, you must weigh your options and be able to stand by your decision,” Erico said.
Asked whether the inclusion of John Mikel Obi would not disrupt the team’s cohesion, Erico said that it was not possible. “It’s just professional decision on the part of the coach; whatever the coach decides should be upheld, he has to do it, I am not here to condemn him,” Erico said.
Erico, a member of the bronze winning Green Eagles squad at the 1976 of the AFCON in Ethiopia, stressed that the team’s approach to playing was of no consequence for now.
“The most important pattern of play that should be adopted is one that would clinch the qualifying ticket for the country, because we need to qualify for the 2013 AFCON in South Africa.
“I know it’s not going to be a walk in the park, but we must work harder than we have previously done, to achieve this objective,” he said.