I never had doubt about reaching the round of 16 – Keshi




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coach Stephen Keshi says Nigeria should believe in team as they are set for second round after beating Bosnia in Cuiaba night. In this with Pius Ayinor, Keshi speaks about team’s chances in tournament.

win over Bosnia has given Nigeria a foothold in last 16. played a 2-2 with Germany. What’s your reaction?

The Ghanaians are our very close brothers and so whatever affects them affects us. Today we won and I guess everybody in West is happy and it is good for the continent.

What do you like best about the Bosnia game?

The spirit in the team showed as we had to do exactly what we needed to do. Many people wouldn’t realise that and how it affects performance but I really felt the heat the sideline and so I could imagine how tough it was for the players. There are a lot of things to be corrected and we work that before the next game.

Was there a moment you were worried that your team would not reach the last 16?

No, I never had that fear. I had always believed we would there; I had no doubt. But it happens in as nobody ever gives us a chance. Remember I took rookies to and a similar thing happened. We started like this. Playing a goalless draw with Iran was one the greatest problem we had but we have seen the same Iran today against Argentina. If it was not for (Lionel) Messi the game would have ended in a draw. So there was never a time I thought we wouldn’t make it – as long as the players are to work with us. So they worked hard and here we are with a win.

What do you think your players did today that was against Iran?

It is just so difficult playing against a team that just wants to sit back and not attack. Whatever mistake we think we made today it be for me and my players to work on it.

Many were surprised by Babatunde Michael’s inclusion in the squad. What informed the decision?

I don’t really know why Nigerians should be surprised about a particular player. I have a 23-man squad here. They didn’t come here to eat food, they didn’t come here for sightseeing; they are here to do the job. So they can be called upon any time. I have great faith in all of them. Babatunde is a good player; he just needs a little time. He is going to turn things around. I have watched him several times with his club before he was called up.

Why was it not Victor Moses going in for Ahmed Musa?

Your opinion is that Victor should have come in. We had many players on the bench and Victor was one of them. So if Victor doesn’t play somebody else play. (Punch)