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Eagles need discipline, organization for World Cup – Lagerback

The 61-year-old Swede, who coached his national team for 11 years, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), after his interview for the Eagles’ job,…

The 61-year-old Swede, who coached his national team for 11 years, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), after his interview for the Eagles’ job, that the Nigerian side had plenty of potential.

NAN reports that the Swede was the fifth and last of foreign coaches interviewed since Monday for the post of the Eagles’ Technical Adviser.

“Nigeria have good players with the right individual skills, and I have heard a lot too that the Eagles have to be organised and disciplined.

“I agree with this, because you need that in football at this level to achieve something. And if we can have the players together, fit and ready to play, I think Nigeria can do well in South Africa,’’ he said.   

The Swede said Nigeria’s chances for a successful outing in South Africa were bright if the right atmosphere was provided.

“Nigeria has good chances in South Africa. If there is good co-operation and organisation among all who are involved, all things will go well,’’ he said.

Lagerback, who said this was his first visit to Nigeria, however, admitted that his knowledge of the national  team and African football was limited.

“I have never been in Nigeria before, but I have learnt a lot when  this opportunity came up. However, I will like to get the job and it will be nice to come and fully see the country to get to know more.

“I have since started to learn more. But I have followed African football more, especially Ghanaian football, and I watched the Nigeria/Ghana match at the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.

“I have also seen a lot of Nigerian players in Europe, and they are quite good. I actually started taking interest in Nigeria since 2002 when we met at the World Cup in South Korea/Japan,’’ he said.

Asked how he was going to tackle the job if appointed, Lagerback said he would first speak with the players.

“I’ll like to first have an open dialogue with the players, and I will expect that with their many years of professionalism, they should know they have to work for each other for us to achieve success.

“For example, when I was with Sweden, a player like Zlatan Ibrahimovic (of FC Barcelona of Spain) knows that despite his status, you have to work for each other, be disciplined

and organised,’’ he said.

On home-based players, Lagerback, who coached the Sweden B national team from 1996 to 1997, said he could give them a chance in the Super Eagles.

“If there are good players on the home front, and they are skilful enough, they should be in the national team,’’ he said.

NAN reports that Lagerback joined the Sweden A team in 1998 to assist Tommy Soderberg and was later in 2000, promoted to the role of dual-coach until Solderberg left in 2004.

Under him, Sweden qualified for the Euro Championship of 2000, 2004 and 2008. He also bagged tickets for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. Lagerback was left in charge until 2009 when he resigned after his team failed to earn the 2010 World Cup ticket.(NAN)

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