Former African Player of the Year, Victor Ikpeba believes that Nigeria can carry on with their building process under Stephen Keshi without John Mikel Obi and Peter Osaze Odemwingie.
Ikpeba made this statement as a guest analyst in a football magazine show, Monday Night Football, on SuperSport 3 on Monday.
The winner of the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations was responding to Keshi leaving out the duo from the 2-2 draw in Monrovia against Liberia at the weekend in the 2013 Afcon qualifying.
“Nigeria can do without Mikel and Osaze. Nigeria is bigger than the two players and after all both players were part of the team that played against Guinea last year. And what happened?” said Ikpeba.
“Keshi tried to call the players and their response wasn’t the best and he had to take a decision. If I am Keshi I don’t think I will call them to the team again.”
Ikpeba also defended Keshi’s building process with the Super Eagles and believes the 2-2 draw in Monrovia guarantees Nigeria a “70 to 80 percent chance” of reaching next year’s edition of the Afcon.
“Stephen Keshi is on the right path with the team and what he’s doing with the team is very brave. And I must say the 2-2 draw against Liberia is a good result because it gives Nigeria a 70 to 80 percent chance of qualifying for the 2013 Nations Cup,” said the former Nigerian striker.
Nigeria will play hosts to Liberia in the return leg of the 2013 Afcon qualification in Calabar on October 14.