Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi says he is thrilled by the responses of some of the players that were not picked in his preliminary World Cup squad, especially Germany-based Leon Balogun as well as John Ogu, Brown Ideye and others.
Keshi who was quoted by national team spokesman Ben Alaiya said picking the 30-man list for the World Cup was a difficult task and he was ready to please all but that can never be the case.
“I wanted the best for the initial camping list but sadly we cannot take everybody along, we have to drop some of our best and committed players [but] I am happy that the players understand that fact," Keshi said.
Injured Balogun said on Tuesday that he had been trying to reach the coach to thank him for his support and that he looks forward to returning to play once he's healed completely.
"I heard what Leon Balogun said and I must say I am thrilled that he understands the very difficult task we have been given by Nigerians, I trust that sooner than later Leon will be back in the team," stated Keshi.
"We are targeting to bring him back during the qualifiers for the Nations Cup in Morocco and I trust we will still be in charge. Balogun we reason is one of our stars for the future of the national team,” Keshi said.
The coach called on the media to support him and the NFF in the task of making Nigeria great through football come the World Cup.
“They create imaginary disputes between me and my employers, but I dare say there is no disagreement between us. All I want is for all, including the players who did not make the initial 30-man list to Brazil, to support us so that we can excel at the World Cup,” he said.