Super Eagles assistant coach Salisu Yusuf blames the national team players for Nigeria’s ouster from the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations during the qualifying group round.
The former Enyimba coach accused the players of not doing enough to qualify the country for the competition in a group that had Egypt, Chad and Tanzania.
Yusuf, however, believes Nigeria will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“The players did not give what they were supposed to give (and so we failed to qualify again for the AFCON),” said Yusuf, who was involved in all the qualifiers with Stephen Keshi, Sunday Oliseh and Samson Siasia at the helm at various points of the failed campaign.
“The players fought like home-based players in the friendly against Mali and I believe that will better self motivation, they will be at the World Cup.
“They are already producing high performances at their various European clubs and we expect them to give more to be at the World Cup.”
“We must adapt to the African environment. With players with strong character, a bad pitch won’t make any difference after about 15 minutes, when you would have familiarize yourself with it,” he reasoned.
The Super Eagles failed to qualify for a second straight AFCON after they lost 1-0 at eventual group winners Egypt in March..