The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says it will not sack Coach Sunday Oliseh if he fails to win the ongoing CAF African Nations Championship.
Speaking with TheCable in Kigali, Rwanda, after the Super Eagles beat Niger Republic 4-1 in their opening match, Chris Green, NFF head of technical committee, said the federation retains full confidence in Coach Sunday Oliseh.
He disclosed that he was not too tensed at the start of the opening game when thing players had a difficult time getting into their rhythm.
“Well, it’s normal. Nothing was going through my mind; it is the normal and usual feeling when you are playing in a tournament first game with near-rookies,” he said.
“I knew that they will get into the game. Four to five minutes was not enough time for them to get into the game. I knew that they were going to get into the game. So, I wasn’t really bothered. All I wanted was for them to keep a good frame, get focused as they get into the game, so that things will begin to happen.”
Green, though, admitted there were still lots of rough edges to be sorted but refused to talk about them, saying it was best not to go public with them:
“Well, the lapses we have discussed, and we do not intend to make them public because we are in a tournament now. But the high point is that they are very fast, they are skillful and they have strength; that’s what’s going for them.”
He reiterated what Sunday Oliseh had told TheCable on Sunday, which was that the important target for the team was not just about winning the championship but about building a solid team:
“We have not set any target for them. It is not a must for the team to win. Or for Oliseh to win because we have not set a target for him to win.
“But what we set for him is to build a team that will stand the test of time. And when he finishes building we can begin to to reap from it.
“However, you know Nigerians… we are very competitive. So, competition is like a must-win for us. That’s why you are seeing the guys playing and putting in everything they have to win matches.”
Green then concluded by declaring unequivocally that there was no time the NFF thought about sacking the coach should he fail to win the tournament.
“That’s not true,” he said. “They’ve told me this thing today and I did reply, and I said we have implicit confidence, absolute confidence, in Oliseh. And so there’s no question of whether he wins or loses, he remains our coach.”