The Head Coach still congratulated the players for the resolute desire not to lose the game in Calabar.
Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, has said the 1-1 draw between Nigeria and Kenya last Saturday at the U. J. Esuene Stadium was a wake-up call to the players and his technical crew.
While addressing the players and officials, Keshi said he was impressed by the players’ output but noted that the Kenyans came with a match plan to frustrate the Eagles.
“From the airport in Lagos they were complaining and they came to Calabar with the same attitude but we still held our own against them. Being champions is not an easy thing and I think we now know how to play like champions for when next we meet them in Nairobi,” Keshi said.
The former Togo and Mali Coach congratulated the players for the resolute desire not to lose the game in Calabar.
Meanwhile, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Aminu Maigari, and the Chairman of the Technical Committee of the Federation, Christopher Green, said they have confidence that the Super Eagles will maul Kenya in the return of the World Cup qualifier in June in Nairobi.
Maigari, who spoke immediately after the game in Calabar, said it was a difficult game because the Kenyans came determined to frustrate the African champions but were overwhelmed by the character of the Nigerian side.
“It was always going to be a difficult game but the Kenyans came with a mind to frustrate the champions but we have a team that has character and at the end of the day they were surprised at the manner we held our own even when they were telling themselves that they have won the match,” he said.
The officials remain confident that the Eagles will make it to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil despite the weekend’s 1-1 draw.
Maigari assured that the team will be better prepared for the return leg in Nairobi and urged Nigerians to always be supportive of the team through thick and thin.
Green, on his part, said that some of the players who did not put in their best should by now know what it takes to play for the Super Eagles because the team is not ready to relinquish the crown in the nearest future.
“We have an abundance of talents across the world but we must be sure to make the right choice of players and that is why my committee is working closely with the coaches of the national teams to make sure that the best players are picked for action at all times. But if I must say, some of the players that were on parade did not come to the party on Saturday and they know themselves,” he said.
Nigeria still occupies the top spot in Group F with 5 points but are closely followed by Malawi who have same points but an inferior goal difference.