Tuesday Jan 25, 2022. 15:00
Ex-Nigeria coach Christian Chukwu has comforted Augustine Aguavoen and praised his input at AFCON 2021 but warned the Super Eagles not to waste time moaning about their shock exit and must now focus on March’s FIFA World Cup date against Ghana.
Nigeria’s elimination came after producing authoritative displays in Group D where they finished on maximum 9 points to head into the last 16 as early favourites for the AFCON 2021 title.
“From all we can observe, Austin has handled the national team in the AFCON competition with a high sense of experience and professionalism, which resulted in no complaint from any quarters against him,” Chukwu told the News Agency of Nigeria.
“He did great in the competition. He is still outstanding among other African coaches in the ongoing competition.”
Aguavoen now steps aside from his interim role that ended after Nigeria’s AFCON exit following his appointment in December when Gernot Rohr was fired.
Jose Peseiro of Portugal, who was appointed as substantive coach just before AFCON, takes over.
Meanwhile, Chukwu said the Super Eagles must very quickly prioritise March’s FIFA World Cup final stage eliminator against arch-foes Ghana and redeem themselves with qualification to the Qatar finals.
“Once we are able to beat Ghana; home and away, we are automatically at the World Cup this year. I pray we will get to that level once more,” 1980 AFCON winning star said.