NFF tells Ea­glets to for­get Croa­tia loss

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

Nige­ria Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (NFF) has strongly ad­vised the Golden Ea­glets to put be­hind Fri­day’s 2-1 loss to Croa­tia in Co­quimbo and re­fo­cus their mind on greater per­for­mance at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015.

Ad­dress­ing the team shortly be­fore their de­par­ture from Co­quimbo to Vina del Mar on Satur­day, NFF’s As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor (Tech­ni­cal), Siji La­gunju said the Golden Ea­glets can be back to win­ning ways if they dis­cover the same strong men­tal at­ti­tude that saw them to an im­pres­sive 2-0 win against USA and 5-1 win over host Chile ear­lier in the tour­na­ment.

“With my over 40 years ex­pe­ri­ence in foot­ball as a player and coach, I can cat­e­gor­i­cally tell you that you tech­ni­cal crew led by Coach Em­manuel Amuneke has done re­mark­ably well in train­ing and pre­par­ing you for this tour­na­ment,” he noted. “I com­mend them for be­ing able to im­pact to you the spirit of hard work and dis­ci­pline, but what­ever you achieve at this tour­na­ment would be down to your per­sonal and col­lec­tive at­ti­tude as play­ers.”

The former Nige­rian in­ter­na­tional re­minded the Ea­glets about the huge re­spon­si­bil­ity in the defence of the tro­phy and graph­i­cally ex­plained that hard work and dis­ci­pline with­out pos­i­tive at­ti­tude, could lead to fail­ure.

“We lost to Croa­tia on Fri­day be­cause of poor at­ti­tude,” he in­sisted.”We had a bril­liant at­ti­tude be­fore we played USA and Chile. Un­for­tu­nately, we lost the same at­ti­tude and com­po­sure against Croa­tia. We can’t af­ford to dis­play such at­ti­tude as we go into the knock­out stages and we be­lieve you can ex­cel with strong men­tal at­ti­tude start­ing with the Round of 16 match on Wed­nes­day,” noted La­gunju, a gifted winger who played for de­funct Leven­tis United, Iwuanyanwu Na­tionale and Ben­del In­sur­ance in the 1980s.

Mean­while, the Golden Ea­glets have since ar­rived Vina del Mar with prepa­ra­tions al­ready on for the Round of 16 match on Wed­nes­day, start­ing with a train­ing ses­sion on Sun­day. They will also train twice on Mon­day and once on Tues­day.

PHOTO AFP

South Africa’s de­fender Thu­lani Hlatshwayo (C) vies for the ball with Nige­ria’s for­ward Gbo­la­han Salami dur­ing the 2015 African Cup of Na­tions quali­fy­ing foot­ball match be­tween South Africa and Nige­ria on Septem­ber 10, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.

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