Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi, has declared that he is not afraid of being sacked. He made the declaration on Wednesday in Abuja while meeting with reporters ahead of their September 8 match against the Lone Star of Liberia.
It was an apparent response to the Minister of Sports Bolaji Abdullahi, who has insisted that the Eagles must qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations holding in South Africa. Keshi and the other national football coaches have come under increased pressure to win their matches following the poor performance of Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympics. The game plan set out for Keshi’s team now is to gun for outright wins in the two-legged clash and build up on that to South Africa for the Nations Cup next year.
The country’s dismal performance in sports actually began with football when the Eagles lost out of the first round at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and capped it by failing to qualify for the 2012 Nations Cup. The other teams, especially the Falcons, followed suit by failing to qualify for the All Africa Games and the Olympics.
On Wednesday Keshi told reporters that if he got sacked as the Eagles’ handler, depending on the outcome of the match, it would not be the first time a coach would lose his job.
“I will not be the first coach in the world and I will not be the last if I am to be sacked. I qualified the Eagles with former coach Shaibu Amodu in 2002, but we did not go to the World Cup,’’ he told News Agency of Nigeria.
“Sacking is not a big thing in our job because you are hired today and tomorrow you are fired. So what is the big deal?
“You sack me today and tomorrow, I get a better job.”
The coach said that he was already under pressure on how to coordinate the team to qualify for the Nations and World Cup finals.
“I have pressure on how I am going to direct my players and how I am going to get the best out of them to beat Liberia; that’s already enough pressure,” he said.
Keshi, who has also coached Togo and Mali, stressed that qualifying the Eagles for the Nations Cup was more paramount to him than a directive from anybody.
“This game is crucial and as such the players need to feel the presence and support of everybody; this will boost their confidence, and the outcome will be a good result,” he said.