By MERCY JACOB
As the Super Eagles get ready for the 2013 Africa Nations Cup billed to commence in South Africa on January 19, former Nigerian international, Bright Omokaro, has warned the team to beware of the host team, Bafana Bafana. ‘Ten-Ten’, as Omokaro is fondly called, however, added that against all odds, Eagles would shine at the Nations Cup if they would allow fighting spirit to rule over them. “I can boldly say that Coach Stephen Keshi knows what he is doing. His Super Eagles’ team is good.
The boys are focused and are ready to go for the Africa’s showpiece in South Africa. And for me, they would be unstoppable. “I can attest to the fact that the team’s cohesion is above board. I can say this because I have had the opportunity to watch the boys in most of their training and some competitive matches they have played.” Omokaro continued: “If the boys I watched in some of their games would keep the tempo, I would tell you that Nigeria has the chance of lifting her third Nations Cup trophy this time around.
“Concerning the team’s defence, which most Nigerian football analysts are complaining about, I don’t see that as a problem because Keshi has taken care of it. Besides, what they need now is to work on their level of teamwork, because with high level of teamwork, even a defender can score goals, just as every other player can join in the defence line to protect the goalpost.
“Keshi has proved that he has what it takes to produce a formidable team and he has gone this far because he seems to be following the footsteps of his former successful national team coach, Clement Westerhof, who infused the spirit of competition in the home-based players and succeeded in building them into becoming a formidable squad. “Keshi has made Eagles’ shirts competitive for all the players he invited to camp whether home-based or foreign ones. His boldness in dropping some players, who ordinarily feel that they are untouchables, tells the players that none of them is indispensable.
With that, every player who wants to make the team must buckle up and remain committed to the team. No player is sure of making the first 11, so every one is fighting hard to be part of the squad. “I am not afraid of what is going to happen in South Africa because I have sure confidence that Eagles will make us proud at the Nations Cup. I will be there live to watch their games,” Omokaro said. “The only team that can give Eagles tough time at the Nations Cup is Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
I say this because the competition is in South Africa and as the host team, Bafana Bafana will enjoy great home crowd support. But Eagles must be focused to overcome the odd. Our boys have to put up fighting spirit and play with understanding to overcome the host side,” Omokaro advised. South Africa will play in Group A at the Nations Cup alongside Angola, Morocco and Cape Verde, while Nigeria is in Group D with Zambia, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.