Keshi discusses squad selection for the World Cup | Tunde Folawiyo

When asked how he thinks the Super Eagles will fare at the World Cup this year, Stephen Keshi simply stated that although he has high hopes for the team, and is optimistic about their chances of reaching the semi-finals, he intends to take it one step at a time, and for now, is only concerned with ensuring that they get past the group stage.

MTunde Folawiyoany Super Eagles’ supporters, including Tunde Folawiyo, are probably beginning to wonder which players Keshi will choose for the World Cup. Whilst the coach has refused to provide any names as of yet, he has said that he will be limiting the total number of people on the squad; in a recent interview, he explained that bringing 40 men to Brazil was unnecessary, and would only serve to distract the team.

Keshi also noted that he had been monitoring the performances of his players throughout the African Nations Cup, and would be basing his final selections on how well each person played during the tournament. He remarked that he had been very impressed by how hard they had worked over the past six weeks, and that this would make it all the more difficult to choose the right members for the squad.

In a separate interview in Cape Town, just after Nigeria’s victory over Zimbabwe, Keshi stated that he would only pick a maximum of four people from the Super Eagles to join them for the World Cup, adding that those who are selected must demonstrate self-discipline, dedication and respect. He then went on to thank the Sports Ministry and the Nigeria Football Federation for their support throughout the Championship of African Nations (CHAN), and expressed his gratitude to the technical crew and backroom staff, who had worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth running of each match.

Although, for the most part, Keshi has remained tight-lipped about the players he intends to choose, he has publically stated that he is considering the Villareal striker, Ikechukwu Uche, for his squad. This should come as no surprise to fans such as Tunde Folawiyo, who are familiar with the Super Eagles’ previous matches, as Uche has played a pivotal role in Nigeria’s past successes, having been a part of the squad for both the 2008 and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. In addition to this, he has also done well whilst playing for Villareal – during his 19 appearances for the Spanish team, he scored a total of 12 goals. Keshi has admitted that he has been following Uche’s career closely, and would be giving the striker the opportunity to try out for the squad when the time comes.

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