Augustine EguavoenGetty

Eguavoen deserves longer contract as Nigeria coach – Olatunji-Okuku

Tripple 44 Academy boss Samuel Olatunji-Okuku is impressed with the Nigeria Football Federation’s decision to retain Augustine Eguavoen as Super Eagles coach, although he feels the tactician should have been given a ‘longer contract’.

Despite the Super Eagles’ failed expedition at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, the country’s football ruling body passed a vote of confidence on the 56-year-old.

Alongside the former African Player of the Year – Daniel Amokachi - who will serve as his assistant, Eguavoen will lead Nigeria against Ghana in next month’s 2022 Fifa World Cup playoff.

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“I believe it’s a good one,” Olatunji-Okuku told GOAL. "[Eguavoen] showed promise at Afcon even if we couldn’t go past the Round of 16.

“But there are so many positives, given the time he had to prepare the boys and the way he was able to make them play.

“Although tactically he was a bit predictable which I said before the game [against Tunisia] and it turned out.

“But I think he deserves this chance, and I’ll advise he gets a long term contract because the pressure we put on our indigenous coaches is too much, we expect them to perform miracles.”

Under the guidance of Aliou Cisse, Senegal defeated Egypt on penalties to lift Afcon for the very first time in their history.

Drawing inspiration from the Lions of Teranga’s success, Olatunji-Okuku is upbeat about a local tactician leading the country to glory.

“Senegal stuck with their coach for many years and now you can see what he’s done, everything needs patience,” he continued.

“If they’re going to give Eguavoen the job, let them give him at least four years and then he can set a proper target and won’t have to work under pressure.

“Sometimes, you need to show them confidence, allow them to work and create an environment for them to work independently without interference.

“If we want to do something reasonable with the talents we have,  you can’t be giving them a six-month contract. Let him choose his own backroom staff, let him bring in the people he trusts.

“Let their salaries and allowances be paid as at when due. These are the things we need to address first before we can achieve something meaningful.

“I believe an indigenous coach is capable of doing it. Be it Eguavoen or someone else. They just need to create a conducive environment for these people to work. And things will fall in place naturally.”