The draws for the 2021 qualifiers was done recently and Nigeria has been drawn in Group L alongside neighbours, Benin Republic, who got to the quarter-finals in Egypt, Sierra Leone and Lesotho. How should we approach these games?
We should approach the qualifiers with all seriousness. It’s important we learn one or two lessons from what happened in Egypt.
People expected Madagascar to be the whipping team in our group, but they topped the group while also defeating us, so we have to be careful.
The preparation should start now because we wouldn’t want a situation where we will fail again to qualify. It happened after we won the trophy in 2013 and we failed to qualify for the next two editions.
We must be serious and approach all the games like finals. Any big team that fails to prepare and give the qualifiers their best shot will be surprised when they don’t make it to Cameroon for the AFCON.
As a former goalkeeper, the goalkeeping department of the team has been a great cause for concern, do we need to change them or continue with the current ones in the team?
The coach will have to take a decisive decision on the goalkeepers. He has seen them in training and also at match days, so he should be able to determine if they fit into his plans or there will be need to bring in fresh legs.
Nigerians are already calling for the inclusion of other young goalkeepers, do you also subscribe to this?
I experienced a similar situation as goalkeeper coach of the Super Eagles while working with late Stephen Keshi.
People were asking me to invite this or that goalkeeper, but what I was seeing in training was different from what people outside were seeing.
We have Francis Uzoho, Daniel Akpeyi and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, with only Uzoho still 20 and others above 30. What should the coach do?
He has seen them all and the most important thing is for him to take a decision and go with it.
If he is okay with them, he can continue but even at that there is need to bring in fresh blood.
It happened to me when I was the first choice for the team and Vincent Enyeama was brought in as my understudy; I had to leave the scene for him at some point.
He struggled at the beginning, but at some point he became one of the best from the country, so we have to do that too for the current team.