Siasia says Ethiopia’s match a must win

Lagos, Nigeria – Super Eagles chief coach, Samson Siasia has said that the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia next month is a must win for the Super Eagles if the team hoped to progress in the series.

Speaking after guiding his wards to a hard fought 2-1 win over the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in Lagos Wednesday, Siasia who was having his first full international cap as coach of the senior team said the result of the friendly was a morale booster, particularly as the team looked forward to the Ethiopia match.

“I am impressed with their performance. They did very well and the result is good for us. It will boost our confidence and help us for the next match against Ethiopia, which you know is a must win,” the coach said.

Although Siasia admitted that in the second half “we missed our shape and committed many errors,” he would not blame his players whose sloppy performance allowed the visitors dictate the pace. “The score line would have been 3-0 at half time, but we could not convert all our chances. We all saw the spate of injuries and the changes we made in the second half”.

We had to try some of the home-based players and they did well. In fact, one of them came in and scored our second goal. So the fluctuation in the run of play was expected because we are still trying a lot of players. If we don’t try them now, they may never have the opportunity again before we start the Nations Cup qualifiers. There are still a lot of them out there we are yet to see.”

The coach also blamed the synthetic turf at the Teslim Balogun stadium for the drop in form of his players.

Siasia banks on home-based Eagles for Obama Cup

Home-based Super Eagles players who were in the squad that took on Sierra Leone Wednesday in Lagos will form the nucleus of the squad Coach Samson Siasia will be taking to the United States of America for the Obama Cup invitational tournament.

The players who returned to Abuja Thursday morning were expected to resume camping immediately in Abuja.

A source told Sports Vanguard that Coach Siasia has decided to take more players from the domestic league to America for the tournament. “Only a few foreign based professionals will be called up to join the home based for the tournament,” the source said, pointing out that the players from the foreign legion will be those that had not been tested by the new coach.

“He expects to try a few more of them before the Ethiopia match,” our source remarked.