Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Peseiro performed fairly well, deserves second chance as Eagles Coach: Ladipo

“Whether we like it or not, he took us to the finals of the AFCON.’’

• March 3, 2024
Super Eagles Coach, Jose Peseiro
President General, Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Rafiu Ladipo and Super Eagles Coach, Jose Peseiro

The President General, Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Rafiu Ladipo, on Saturday rated the performances of erstwhile Super Eagles Coach, Jose Peseiro, as above average.

Mr Ladipo stated this during an interview in Lagos.

He said that despite the circumstances that led to the failure of the Super Eagles to win the 2023 African Cup of Nations, Mr Peseiro needed to be given a second chance.

Mr Peseiro had in a farewell message on his official X handle, thanked the NFF and other stakeholders for the opportunity given to him to serve.

Mr Ladipo said Mr Peseiro deserved to be given another chance as Eagles coach going by his performances.

According to him, the Portuguese tactician had surpassed all expectations and targets given him by the Nigeria Football Federation.

He said, “Giving him another shot will not be an entirely bad idea. Maybe his contract should have been renewed which was not done and now he is gone and moved on because he is no longer needed.

“Now, we need to start looking for another coach better than Peseiro and not anyone that is not up to his standard. Whether we like it or not, he took us to the finals of the AFCON. Peseiro was not given a chance at all, but he performed beyond the expectations and the target of semi-final berth, up to the final against the host nation, Ivory Coast.

“In clear terms the approval for a new contract is between Peseiro and his employer and not us, but we are also a major stakeholder as well.’’

He further said that after the expiration of Mr Peseiro’s contract, much was not heard about the discussion on whether his contract would be renewed or not.

”I think Peseiro should have approached the NFF hierarchy about the renewal of his contract because there were better coaches at AFCON that failed to go past the group stage. Also there are some good coaches that failed to go past the knockout stage or the quarter finals, but we managed to get to the final and played against the host.

”I was not particular about Nigeria winning the AFCON, knowing that the host nation is hostile towards us. In my over 50 years experience I could remember during 1993 World Cup qualifiers when Rashidi Yekini scored against the Ivorians, they beat us up and we had to take refuge at the Nigerian embassy,” he said.

Mr Ladipo added, “Playing against a host nation like Ivory Coast is tough, because of lots of intimidation and harassment. Aside from this, the Ivorians are more patriotic than us; while they were in the stadium, they all wore the replica of their national team jersey including their President, different from our practice in Nigeria. In Nigeria, what we wear is the replica of another club’s jersey like Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and the rest of them.”

Mr Ladipo also noted that the Super Eagles did not play up to their best in the final because fatigue had set in and they were tired.

”Also, Peseiro made some technical errors. Going forward we need to hold on to the present Super Eagles squad. They should be kept together because we have World Cup qualifiers ahead. Nigeria needs to learn her lessons from what had happened in the past and ensure a formidable team ahead of the next competition,” he said.


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