Thursday, October 6, 2011

Super Eagles plead with fans for support

SUPER Eagles have made a passionate appeal to football fans to keep faith with them when things become tough during Saturday's match against Guinea in Abuja.

Nigerian fans have over the years gained notoriety for their seeming impatient with Nigerian teams when on international duties at home.

The ever- impatient fans jeer, boo and sometimes hurl missiles at the players when they are stuttering during matches.

But the Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia, captain Joseph Yobo and striker Osaz Odemwingie said the outcome of the Guinea match could be detrimental to Nigeria's Nations Cup should fans choose to turn against the Eagles when things become difficult.

Siasia and the players said in different interviews that fans, as the twelfth player, would play a key role in Nigeria's quest to defeat the Guineans and qualify for next year's competition in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Yobo begged the fans for unalloyed support and commitment throughout the match, which he insisted would spur them to smashing performance.

'We want to appeal to the fans to come out and make the job easier for us.

They have to make the stadium an intimidating place for the Guineans by filling up the stadium at least two hours before the game.

'We don't want a violent atmosphere, we just want the whole stadium to be a sea of green and white so that when they walk in, they'll know that they are playing not only the players on the field, but the fans too,' said the Fenerbahce defender.

Odemwingie said the players have showed so much commitment with their attitude ahead of the match and their effort should be complemented with unflinching support from the fans.

'I think we as players have shown how committed we are to this game by the way everyone

has reported to camp just a day after the coach opened camp.

'Even Efe Ambrose, who got married on Saturday, has left his young wife and is here to serve his country.

'We want to appeal to the fans to also do their part by coming out and filling up the stadium at least two hours before the game like the captain has said, to show the Guineans that we mean business.

'This is a collective effort between the players and we will all enjoy the Nations Cup together.'

Siasia echoed the sentiment of his players when he enjoined the fans to create electric atmosphere at the Abuja Stadium by throng- ing the stadium en-masse and cheer the team to victory.

'We want our people to come and create the correct atmosphere at the stadium, the singing and dancing, and the whole works.

We want the place bright with sea of green and white colours and everyone cheering every move of the Super Eagles.

'Support is always key in games of this nature. And we believe that Nigerians from everywhere will come to the Stadium and cheer Super Eagles to victory,' said Siasia.

The Nigerian team needs to beat the Syli Nationale by a minimum of two-goal margin to secure an automatic qualifying ticket to the 2012 Nations Cup.

Nigeria has never failed to qualify for the African Cup of Nations since failing at the final qualify- ing hurdle against Zambia in a 0-1 aggregate defeat in 1985.

Also, Tunisia is the only team to have escaped unhurt against the Super Eagles in a competitive match at the National Stadium, Abuja, when forcing the Eagles to a 2-2 draw in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match 25 months ago.

The Moment

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