Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lars Lagerback takes blame for Super Eagles' Fall

Nigeria coach Lars Lagerback says he should take the blame for the country's inability to reach the second round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The Swede cut a disconsolate figure in the post-match press conference after his side had drawn 2-2 with South Korea, missing out on the qualification for the Last 16 which a win would have secured, this despite creating a host of opportunities in the game.

Lagerback refused to blame his players, who were so wasteful in front of goal, and says the buck stops with him.

"I am to blame, as the coach I have the responsibility to make this team win," Lagerback said. "I am the one picking the team, I am the one doing the game-plan and I am the one training the team.

"This is a very difficult time for us, we are disappointed and sad for the moment. I was of course disappointed with all the missed chances, and the [Korean] time-wasting, which I do not believe was fair play."

Lagerback would not blame the team's build-up for the failure, or their decision to switch training camps from Durban to Richard's Bay at the last minute.

"The players have had a very good attitude and worked very hard in training. In these matches it is small margins between success and failure. We hit the post at 1-0, so we were just a matter of centimetres from making it 2-0, and they could have made all the difference."

Asked whether he would be staying on in his post, the Swede was evasive.

"I have very much enjoyed my five months with the Super Eagles and I will compile a report on the World Cup for the Federation, but I cannot say whether I will continue. I have no idea whether that is possible," he said.

Striker Kanu, possibly playing for the last time in a green shirt, admitted that the players were devastated by their exit, and also refused to to be drawn on his future.

"The question of whether I will retire… you will know the answer soon. Right now I am just sad and need to go away and assess things. I will decide soon," Kanu said.

All Africa

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