Head Coach of Nigeria’s national under-23 male football team, Samson Siasia, on Monday said his team learnt a lot from the Four-Nation Suwon Invitational Tournament in Korea Republic.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Dream Team had finished their campaign in the invitational with a 3-1 defeat of Honduras on Monday.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Siasia said the experience in Korea was overwhelming.
I’m happy we are not going back home without a point,’’ the coach was reported as saying by the website of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
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,’’ he had added.
The former Super Eagles chief coach said his team was going to take all criticism resulting from the disappointing outing in its stride.
The best thing that has happened to this team is that due to results at this tournament, we have heard Nigerians criticising us.
We thank them for all the negative things they have been saying about us.
These have served as motivation for us. We have realised 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.”
Siasia said there was a need for massive changes in the team, after the tournament exposed a lot of weak areas in the team.
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, as we have other games coming up too in the U.S.
After making those changes, we will see how well the team will look going to the Olympics.’’
He was forthright in his appraisal of the team, saying “I don’t see any plus right now. I only saw players that are not fit enough, and that’s the biggest problem we had.
The change of weather actually affected the few ones that we trusted to play well, but most of them faltered. So, that’s a problem, and we need to address these things in a hurry.”
Coach Siasia disclosed that he has a number of players in mind to fortify the team, but he will not disclose their names now.
He said this was because he had not been able to confirm if they would be available for the Games.
NAN reports that the Nigerian under-23 side finished third at the Four-Nation Tournament after beating Honduras 3-1 in their last game on Monday.
Honduras had gone ahead in the 17th minute through Alberth Elis, while the Dream Team came into the game in the second half.
They scored the equaliser in the 61st minute through captain Azubuike Okechukwu, while Godwin Saviour increased the tally in the 69th minute from the penalty kick spot.
In the 87th minute, Saturday Keigho made it three with a beauty of a goal, through a shot taken from the Nigerian half of the pitch.
NAN reports that the Nigerian side had on Thursday lost 0-1 to hosts South Korea, before a 2-6 loss to Denmark on Saturday.