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Super Falcons need regular friendlies for World Cup, Akide-Udoh warns


Super Falcons

Former Falcons striker, Mercy Akide-Udoh has advised that preparation for the Super Falcons in the Women World Cup in June must be a top priority if they were to avoid early elimination from the tournament holding in France, this year.

Akide-Udoh, a former African Footballer of the Year, who played at the quarterfinals of the Women World Cup in 1999, warns that the senior female national team needs more friendly matches for them to excel at the Mundial.

“To have a good tournament and avoid another embarrassing outing, the girls deserve to compete against the very best in the women’s game to get themselves ready,” Akide-Udoh told BBC Sport.

“Other countries going to the World Cup are playing friendlies, but we are not, which is not a good sign.

“I have always said that Nigeria must start showing that we deserve to be at the World Cup and stop being contented with just participating since 1991,” she said.

Akide-Udoh, who is currently the coach of the Regent University women’s team in the United States said the Falcons must improve tactically if they are to make any meaningful progress in France where they have been drawn in Group A alongside 2019 hosts France, Norway and South Korea. She said: “We have a lot of work to do defensively and also in our ball possession.

“Obviously, we are strong physically but we’re deficient in the tactical aspects of the game and this has hindered the team’s progress in bigger competitions.

“Preparation is also key to enable the coach time to work extensively with the squad and correct some of the problems noticed at the last African championship.

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