Former Super Eagles’ stars, Samson Siasia and Emmanuel Amuneke have expressed dismay on the Flying Eagles’ performance at the recent Africa U-20 Cup of Nations where they finished a poor 4th out of six teams, saying that they need to up their game if they are to do well at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, AOIFootball.com reports.
For Siasia, who once coached the national U-23 team, as well as the Super Eagles, said the current handlers of the team need to do more to prepare the team for the World Cup in Poland in the summer.
A silver medalist at the U-20 World cup, Siasia, however, praised the team for qualifying for the world cup but admits that a lot of work still needs to be done on the team before the world cup proper.
“First of all I want to say congratulations to them for qualifying for the world cup but from what I saw, they still have a whole lot of work to be done on the team.
“They have problems with keeping possessions, creating chances and also finishing but having qualified, they now have a chance to go back and correct these lapses before the world cup and try to get ready both physically and mentally,” Siasia added.
When asked if he thinks the current crop of players can match the level of his 2005 silver-winning side, the double Olympic medalist stated categorically that with good preparation and tactical balance the team could reach that height but admitted they still have a long way to go.
On his part, Emmanuel Amuneke, who is the current Head Coach of the Taifa Stars of Tanzania, called on the team to put aside their fourth-place finish at the Africa U-20 Championship in Niger and focus on the world cup.
The former Flying Eagles coach told AOIFootball.com exclusively that he saw potential in the team during his stay in Niger as a Technical Study group member but urged them to shun individual play and work as a collective unit to ensure they properly represent the country in Poland.
“They showed some flashes of a good team but they were full of individual players; defensively, they were good but offensively they left a lot to be desired. They must improve offensively and also play like a team if they are to do well in Poland.
“They have to go back now and prepare well; they were not able to play to their strengths offensively but I believe they can learn and improve before the world cup,” Amuneke concluded.
Despite failing to lose any match in normal time, the Flying Eagles finished in a disappointing fourth position but picked up one of the four tickets to represent Africa at the FIFA World Cup in Poland which begins in May this year.