Former Nigeria forward, Clement Temile, has warned Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, to put the national team ahead of personal interest, if he hopes to come out victorious against Sudan on Saturday in a crucial 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Khartoum.
The African champions are currently third in Group A of the qualifiers after managing a point from their first two games. A draw or defeat in Khartoum, would further put their chances of qualification for the tournament scheduled for Morocco next year in jeopardy.
Temile, a 1984 AFCON silver medalist, said the Nigeria coach must also shun sentiments while selecting players for the remaining games of the qualifiers.
“I think Keshi should concentrate on his team rather than on himself. He needs to put the team in order because what matters now is victory. A draw in Khartoum won’t help us. I believe with a good team spirit, we can beat Sudan,” Temile said.
“We lost to Congo at home in our first game of the qualifiers because we took them for granted. The Eagles were overconfident and the coach didn’t start with his major players. A player like Emmanuel Emenike shouldn’t have started that match on the bench.
“There is no more gambling in football because every country is getting better. We played better against South Africa in Cape Town in our second game and if we can play like that in Sudan, I believe the team can win.
“This is not the time to take any team for granted. If we get a draw on Saturday, then our qualification for the tournament will be slim.”
Meanwhile, Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games gold medallist, Dosu Joseph, says the return of goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama is a big boost for the squad ahead of the game.
The Lille keeper opted out of the qualifiers against Congo and South Africa last month, to attend to family issues, but he will lead the Eagles out on Saturday.
Dosu, a former Eagles goalkeeper, said, “He (Enyeama) wasn’t dropped for the previous games, he only had to attend to family issues. He has been consistently keeping for his club, so that is a big boost for us.
“He knows how to organise the defence and his communication ability is also very high. He is the captain of the team, which means he will lead the team on Saturday. I think his return to the squad is a morale-booster for the team.”
Congo are currently top of Group A on six points, having beaten Nigeria and Sudan in their first two games, while Bafana Bafana are second on four points. The Eagles are third with one point and Sudan have no points after losing their first two games in the group.