Peseiro : Our Tactical Strategy Didn’t Favour Kelechi Iheanacho

Super Eagles coach José Peseiro provides major reason why forward Kelechi Iheanacho hasn’t featured at the 2023 AFCON tournament reports.

Peseiro was on the sidelines when Nigeria defeated the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon last Friday and to reach the quarterfinals of the 2023 AFCON.

Also read: Nwabali : “I Hope He’ll Be Fit For Next Match” Peseiro Provides Important Update

Peseiro upbeat Iheanacho can still play at the 2023 AFCON
Super Eagles Coach, José Peseiro

Fans ahead of the Cameroon match expected the Portuguese tactician to employ the experiences of Iheanacho. Iheanacho was the scorer of Nigeria’s first goal at the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon two years ago. And at the 34th edition, he’s yet to feature despite being confirmed medically fit by team doctors.

Peseiro in a post-match presser told Journalists that Super Eagles’ tactical strategy against Cameroon, didn’t give chance for the former Manchester City forward to be introduced.

What Peseiro said about Kelechi Iheanacho’s lack of game time

According to the former Sporting CP manager, all Nigeria needed to do was to defend its lead against Cameroon; hence, the need for the introduction of defenders.

“I understand Kelechi’s [Iheanacho] talent and capabilities,” the former Venezuela coach was quoted by Legit Nigeria.

“But I prefer not to dwell on individual situations. All players are important, including those who haven’t played, like Kelechi.”

The former Saudi Arabia coach, further explained that he didn’t bring Iheanacho into the match because the team wasn’t in search of scoring goals.

Kelechi Iheanacho leaves Super Eagles Portugal Camp.
Kelechi Iheanacho a member of 2013 Eaglets celebrates Super Eagles goal against Saudi Arabia

Per his statement, introducing the Leicester City star was not necessary to the strategy of protecting the lead.

“If we needed to score against Cameroon, Kelechi might have come on. However, our focus was on protecting the lead. Bringing him in wasn’t necessary for our tactical strategy.”

In another story, the Nigeria Football Federation NFF, has denied speculations he didn’t want to pay Super Eagles their match bonuses and other entitlements.

According to the NFF, failure of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), to release funds to it is the main reason the players are yet to receive their bonuses and allowances.

Also read: Osimhen : Ask Opponent Defenders What They Suffered Against The Important Forward – Peseiro

“This NFF board is trying to build a good relationship with the players based on trust and we believe paying them their entitlements when due will help in cementing this relationship. That is why we are worried that the CBN is delaying the release of the money,” a NFF official told Guardian Nigeria.

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