Nigeria’s coach Stephen Keshi says he doesn’t care about the country’s slide in the Fifa rankings but he is more concerned about beating visiting Lone Stars of Liberia to pick the qualification slot for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations holding in South Africa next January.
In a chat with Goal.com in Abuja, the former Togo and Mali coach stated that what was paramount in his mind now “is how to beat Liberia convincingly to pick the 2013 Nations Cup ticket after which we will start preparations in earnest to have a fulfilling tournament in South Africa.”
Nigeria has slid down to the 63rd spot in the world and 13th in Africa in the latest ranking released on Wednesday which made many soccer pundits to ponder on the fate of Nigeria in qualifying for the 2013 Afcon as well as thereafter.
But the man who is saddled to handle the national team of Nigeria said there should be no cause for alarm as the Super Eagles would bounce back to reckoning as from October 13th when the match would be played at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar.
According to him, “That [Nigeria’s slipping down in FIFA rankings] is not the important thing to me right now. The most important thing for me now is to win my match in Calabar and to be at the Nations Cup in South Africa come next year,” Keshi declared.
The Eagles chief coach would also be very happy if President Goodluck Jonathan would be present live in Calabar to watch his team take on Liberia. He said the President’s presence would definitely fire up the players to put in their extra strength to win the match.
“If Mr President is going to be there it is going to a morale booster. You are there as a player on the pitch to play and the national anthem of your country is played while the President of your country is there live to watch you play, I think that is the best thing that would ever happen to a player.
“So I think the presence of President Goodluck Jonathan would serve as an extra motivation to spur the team to life and ready to go for the kill,” Keshi said.