Bruised Super Eagles rebuild for World Cup
ACCRA - After a dismal performance at the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana, the once mighty Super Eagles of Nigeria are going back to the drawing board to regroup for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers in June.
This is according to Nigerian striker Ayegbeni Yabuku, who said the next two months will give them enough time to assemble a formidable squad for the World Cup qualifiers, which will double up as the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Nigerians were sent home early from the 26th edition of the Afcon in Ghana after they were defeated 1-0 by the hosts, Ghana's Black Stars in a quarterfinal match at Ohene Djan Stadium a fortnight ago.
The Super Eagles, winners of the Afcon in 1994, will play their first World Cup qualifier against Bafana Bafana at Abuja National Stadium on June 1. The other countries in the group for the qualifiers are Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.
"We are naturally disappointed with our performance in Ghana, our aim was to win but things did not go our way. We are now going to focus on assembling a team that will do well in both the qualifiers for the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations," said Yakubu.
"The World Cup is coming to Africa for the first time in 2010, there is no doubt that Nigeria will be among the 32 countries that will participate in the tournament. We really need to start building a new team for the World Cup and Afcon in Angola.
"We are hoping to play a few friendly games in the build-up to the World Cup qualifiers," added the cultured striker from English Premiership Everton where Bafana Bafana midfielder Steven "Schillo" Pienaar is his teammate.
Meanwhile, former Super Eagles players Stephen Keshi and Sunday Oliseh are among those tipped to guide Nigeria in the qualifiers. Lothar Matheus, the former German World Cup winner, has also shown an interest in the job.
This comes in the wake of media reports from Nigeria that German Berti Vogts will be fired after failing to win the Afcon.