Head Coach of the Nigeria U-23 team, Samson Siasia has declared that he bears no grudge against those who have so much criticized him and his team after their poor performance at the just concluded 4-Nation Suwon tournamenet in Korea Republic.
The Nigeria U-23 team preparing to participate at the fourth coming football event of the Rio Olympics lost 1-0 to South Korea and 6-2 to Denmark before managing to beat Honduras 3-1 in their final match.
The performance did not come down well on most Nigerians calling on the coach to get his act right before the Olympics. And, in his reaction to all that Siasia maintained that all the criticism will only help to make him work harder.
“The best thing that has happened to this team is that due to the results at this tournament, we have heard Nigerians criticizing us, we thank them for all the negative things they have been saying about us. These have served as motivation for us, we have realized the areas that we need to improve on and those players that we need to inject into the team to make up a very strong team going to the Olympics.”
“I’m happy we are not going back home pointless. The most important thing is that team officials and the players have learnt a lot from this tournament which we will take back home to start making our corrections.
Siasia added: “The biggest problem we are having right now is that we do not defend very well; we create several chances but do not convert them. So, we need to make changes in those areas for us to move ahead from here, we have other games coming up too in America. After making those changes we will see how well the team will look going to the Olympics.
“I don’t see any plus right now, I only saw players that are not fit enough, that’s the biggest problem we had. The change of weather actually affected the few ones that we trusted to play well, most of them faltered, so that’s a problem, and we need to address these things in a hurry.”
As a way of ensuring that the team parade a very solid side during the Olympic event, Coach Siasia disclosed that he has a number of players in mind to fortify the team, but stressed that he will not disclose their names now, because he has not been able to confirm if they will be available for the Games.
The Nigeria U-23 finished third at the 4 -Nation Tournament after beating Honduras 3-1 in their last game on Monday. Honduras went ahead in the 17th minute through Alberth Elis while the Dream Team came into the game in the second half, scoring the equalizer in the 61st minute through captain Azubuike Okechukwu. Godwin Saviour increased the tally in the 69 minute from the penalty spot and in the 87th minute, Saturday Keigho made it three with a beauty of a goal with a shot taken from his the Nigerian half of the pitch.