November 25, 2008

Don’t judge Amodu by Colombia defeat – Lawal

Amid criticisms of the Super Eagles for the defeat to Colombia in a friendly game in the early hours of Thursday in Cali, versatile former Holland-based midfielder, Garba Lawal, has moved to save coach Shaibu Amodu from further bashing.

Amodu has come under intense criticisms since the poor showing against the Colombians, losing 1-0 in the encounter dominated by the South Americans.

Speaking with our correspondent on the telephone on Monday, Lawal, who was a prominent member of the Atlanta ‘96 Olympic Games gold-winning Under-23 team, insisted that neither Amodu nor the players deserved the criticisms they had been subjected to since the defeat, appealing to Nigerians not to lose faith in the team.

The former senior national team star said, ”The problem with Nigerians is that they want to win every match. In football, this is not possible. There’s no team in the world that has won all its matches.

“The game against Colombia was only a friendly. It has not only afforded the coach an opportunity to assess the young players he featured, but also the old players.

“I did not expect the team to beat Colombia, given the situation Amodu found himself before the encounter.Some of the players he relied on withdrew from the game and you don’t expect him to force them.

“The result will help us plan for the World Cup qualifiers and I think Amodu has learnt one or two things from the defeat to Colombia. It means we have to take every match in the qualifiers seriously.”

Lawal called on the players no longer interested in playing for the national team to quit honourably rather than making excuses to avoid featuring in certain matches.

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