NFF begins countdown to 2018 World Cup qualifiers
Goater tips Iheanacho to blossom under Guardiola
Although the draw for the final round of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers has not been made, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says it has already concluded plans to ensure the Super Eagles qualified for the competition.
Nigerians are still reeling from the inability of the senior national team to make the Gabon 2017 African Nations Cup, but the NFF has assured that it has put in place measures to forestall a repeat of the ‘unfortunate reality.’
One of such measures, according to NFF Secretary General, Sanusi Mohammed, is to ensure that the Super Eagles’ technical crew gets all it needs to build a formidable team.
Sanusi, who told The Guardian yesterday that the NFF has met with the interim coaches of the team to plan for the two friendly games slated for this month end, revealed that the body has been monitoring the activities of potential opponents to ensure that Nigeria is fully prepared when the qualifiers begin.
Sanusi said the NFF will strictly monitor the process of players invitation to ensure only the best are invited to fight for spots in the team, adding that the two friendly matches will give the coaches an insight into the abilities of some of the players needed for the qualifiers.
“The NFF will not in any way interfere in players selection for the World Cup qualifiers. Our mission is to assist the coaches in rebuilding a formidable Super Eagles… this is why we have organised warm up games for the team. The logistics needed to select the best available players has also been put in place to help the coaches,” he said.
Meanwhile, Manchester City legend, Shaun Goater, has assured the English team’s incoming manager, Pep Guardiola, that he can rely on Kelechi Iheanacho to take the IUEFA Champions League semifinalists a notch higher next season.
Iheanacho is one of the players expected to make the new look Super Eagles, but Goater says the U-17 World Cup winner is ripe for a major role in Manchester City.
The Nigerian forward has netted 13 goals and made five assists in 32 appearances in all competitions for the Citizens in his debut first team campaign.
And the 46-year-old believes that Iheanacho could save Guardiola millions of pounds by being established into the first team fully rather than bringing in another goal poacher.
“A few months ago, I used to think [that] we needed to push [Sergio] Aguero but Kelechi Iheanacho has a frightening record and is excelling in his role,” Goater told 888sport.
“He also has a good work ethic and that is a key thing Pep Guardiola will be looking for next season – a work ethic as well as producing goals.”