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Eagles keepers need more playing time –Rufai

Eagles keepers need more playing time –Rufai


Former Nigeria goalkeeper Peter Rufai says the current  Super Eagles keepers  need more playing time to gain experience.

Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi, Francis Uzoho and Dele Ajiboye have represented the country at different tournaments since first choice keeper Carl Ikeme was diagnosed with acute Leukaemia  last year.

In an  interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday, Rufai said  unlike other players,   the keepers  needed more playing time and could not be assessed or judged by a single match.

The former Stationery Stores custodian said,  “There is no problem as far as I am concerned with the goalkeeping department of the  Eagles. What they need right now is support and more exposure.

“Goalkeepers get better with time and matches and if one is not performing well, he can be replaced  by a better option. We are blessed with abundance of good keepers in Nigeria.

“If someone is driving a four wheel vehicle and one wheel is not good enough, then you change the one that is bad and not discarding all the wheels – that is the same situation with goalkeepers.

“The goalkeepers we still have can serve us better, so, we need not panic about the goalkeepers. As I have said,   the goalkeepers need exposure, and playing time to get better.”

The Tunisia ’94 Africa Cup of Nations winner  said Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr  should pick one of the  keepers at his disaposal as his first  choice.

He said, “There are lots of keepers but they must be given equal opportunity to play and express themselves. It will be wrong to suggest any keeper to them.

“Football is almost a science now, so we need to experiment on what we have at hand and get the best out of it. The goalkeepers need a platform and experience.”

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Click here to read the full text by Olubode Olusesan

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