Super Eagles chief coach, Sunday Oliseh has warned that if the Nigerian Football Federal (NFF) do not buckle up, a time would come when players would refuse to honour national team invitations.
Speaking after the home based eagles failed to qualify from the group stage in the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN), Oliseh blamed the teams’ inability to reach the quarter final on “lack of motivation.”
His words: “I think the players need better motivation next time and if we don’t get that on track, we are going to struggle big time.
“At the moment, I will have to wait and see how we will move ahead. First and foremost, I will have to go back home and I decide personally on what to do next.
“Our elimination has nothing to do about physical or technical or tactical aspect of it. I think it’s more moral. And that is why I said we need better motivation. I am going to repeat what I told you the last time: we were like a car without petrol.
“We are all Nigerians and we should understand what I am trying to say. Maybe that could work at the under-age level but when you are talking at this magnitude, we should not deceive ourselves.
“Look, I didn’t do all this job on the CHAN players to let them go.
“Just as I said, you saw the work on them, it’s not something I did because I was bored. No! We have a plan, the plan is to integrate them into the team. Seven or eight of them by God’s grace are going to be integrated when we play the next qualifier.
“First thing that we have to do is that we have to put our house in order. I only have one fear and I will share it with you; it is that by the time we send the next invitations out, the players don’t start refusing to play for Nigeria,” he said.
“That is something that is scary but it is real. And we have to start thinking, we are not going to work miracles anymore. I am just afraid that if we don’t put our house in order, we might invite players for the next qualification and maybe some players I am afraid… because already I am getting phone calls from them, they are still asking about what they are being owed. And it’s like that.
“It’s no secret that everybody knows that the national team, ever since some months now, is highly under-funded. It’s no secret anymore. We have to scrap to bring out the best. I was expecting things to be difficult, because when you are starting a new philosophy, a new style of work with the home-based team, trying to bring in some new players and some new style, it is normal that you are not working with the status quo, that you will have obstacles along the way.
“We were expecting those and we were able to surmount them. But that not withstanding, I am still very proud of my assistants and what they’ve been able to make with this team.”