• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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2017 AFCON qualifiers: Oliseh vows to crush Tanzania



Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh is determined to prove his managerial prowess to disprove his critics who say he lacks the experience needed to coach the national team.

The 40-year-old former Borussia Dortmund and midfielder signed a three-year deal last month and succeeded Stephen Keshi, who was sacked at the start of July.

Oliseh coached the Belgian lower league side Vervietois between 2008 and 2009 and since then he’s been working as a pundit, sport consultant and FIFA Technical committee member.

“People are saying say I’ve never coached at this level before,” Oliseh told BBC.

“The only answer I can give is, can they name to me one African former player that has been able to coach any first division team in Europe?

“It’s not a question of lack of effort, I got my coaching badge from the English Football Association more than five years ago, I’ve been working with the FIFA technical study group so it’s not through lack of trying.

“It’s a question of the fact that at this moment there doesn’t seem to be opening for African coaches in Europe.

Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh
Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh

“Eventually we will get there, I am very optimistic. We will break the barriers someday.”

Also speaking on the titanic clash with Tanzania, Oliseh confidently voiced out that the clash is crucial and will be treated with all seriousness.

“The match in Dar es Salaam is very, very crucial, not only because it will be my first match as Head Coach of Super Eagles, but also because we have no choice than to win. The three points are important for us to keep up the tempo in our group,” Oliseh said.

“We are on the same three points with Egypt, though they have scored a goal more. That is why we cannot afford any slip along the way.

“We will deal first with the match in Tanzania, and then we will start thinking about the CHAN qualifiers with Burkina Faso in October, and then the World Cup qualifying fixture in November. There is a lot of work. After these matches, we will now start working towards the two AFCON qualifying matches we have with the Pharaohs in March next year.”

The Super Eagles kicked off their 2017 AFCON qualification quest on a winning note, beating Chad 2-0 in Kaduna.

The three-time African champions will hope to replicate a similar feat by beating Tanzania at the Dar es Salaam Stadium, on Saturday, 5th September.

Oliseh and his assistant, Jean Francois Loscuito, are expected to be back in the country next week to officially start preparations ahead of the crucial tie against Tanzania in Dar es Salaam.

Nigeria is drawn in Group C with Egypt, Tanzania and Chad in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series after a draw held in Cairo.

The Super Eagles will challenge the Pharaohs, record seven-time winners, for a ticket to play at Gabon 2017.

The winners of each of the 13 groups will pick an automatic tickets while the two best second-placed teams would join the train to Gabon.


Anthony Nlebem