*Our ambition is to win the WAFU Nations Cup
By Olayinka Elebute
Coach of the home-based Super Eagles, Salisu Yusuf, spoke to www.gongnews.net about developments in his current assignment and the senior national team’s chances towards the World Cup in Russia. We bring you the excerpts of the interview.
You have Ajiboye and Ezenwa, don’t you think you need another goalkeeper for the WAFU Cup games?
When you are taking only 18 players, you can’t take more than two goalkeepers. You don’t even have two players for each positions.
Why do you think it took us so long to bring back the WAFU Cup in West Africa?
I don’t know why it took them so long to bring it back. Maybe due to some organisational lapses. But it’s a good thing to bring it back because it will help our players to showcase their talent.
What are your targets for the WAFU Cup?
The first thing is to qualify to the group stage which we have done in style by beating Sierra Leone. Now that we have crossed that hurdle, we can start thinking of the next target.
You have some major changes from the players you used for CHAN qualifiers. Why the changes?
The players here, some of them are playing the same position with the ones we dropped. We want to take a look at them so we’ll be able to judge. We want the new players to give the established ones a good challenge, so when we are ready to pick players for the final phase of the CHAN championships we will have many options to pick from.
The last time we played CHAN qualifiers we had some key players around but whom are no longer around now. Do you think these will affect your team’s chances in the Chan tournament?
It’s a good thing for the players who travel abroad. We’ve to be happy for them because they’re going to play in a better league and seeking better fortunes. It won’t really affect us because in our scouting report we’ve about six, five players in one position. And for them to go it means they will come back a better player and it will always be good for us.
The result of Zambia have put the Super Eagles World Cup qualifying ambition on stand by. What do you feel about the twist of events?
I believe in myself and the team. I believe as far as I’m concerned the team will qualify for the World Cup in Russia. I know the team can even do better than they did in the Cameroon match. Zambia can’t stop us.
What can you say about Ezenwa?
We’re behind him because we know he’s good and has always been around. He had his baptism in games against Corsica and Togo. When we were preparing for CHAN qualifiers, we looked at the team and discovered it was Ezenwa who has had more experience. He has been coming to the team so we know he will be up to the task.
What should Nigeria be thinking ahead the WAFU tournament in Ghana?
We want to win, but we have to qualify first. That ambition is done with. My focus now is how to beat each of the teams as they come.