Super Eagles chief coach, Salisu Yusuf, has said the country failed to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, because the players did not do enough.
The former Kano Pillars handler, however says the players can ensure Nigeria qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, if they push themselves.
A 1-0 defeat to Egypt earlier this year, ended Nigeria’s chances of playing at the continental competition.
“The players did not give what they were supposed to give (and so we failed to qualify again for the AFCON),” Yusuf, who was involved in all the qualifiers with Stephen Keshi, Sunday Oliseh and Samson Siasia, said.
“The players fought like home-based players in the friendly against Mali and I believe that will better self motivation, they will be at the World Cup.
“They are already producing high performances at their various European clubs and we expect them to give more to be at the World Cup.”
The Eagles will begin their quest to be at the next World Cup next week against Zambia in Ndola . Yusuf has urged the players based abroad, to adapt to whatever conditions they face.
“We must adapt to the African environment. With players with strong character, a bad pitch won’t make any difference after about 15 minutes, when you would have familiarize yourself with it,” he concluded.