Daily Trust (Abuja)

6 February 2013

Nigeria/Mali: Emetoele Charges Eagles to Sustain Anger Against Mali

Former Green Eagles strong defender, Coach Kelechi Emetoele has charged the Super Eagles to redouble the anger that saw them thrash the Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire last Sunday as they take on the Eagles of Mali in today's semi-final match at the 2013 AFCON.

Before their quarter-final match against highly favoured Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire, the Eagles were taunted by the Ivoriens just as even Nigerian football pundits wrote off the chances of the team and that turned out to be the tonic the Eagles needed to win convincingly.

Speaking to Daily Trust yesterday, the former international said it was anger that made the Eagles to devour the Elephants so the players should either redouble the anger or sustain it as they confront the Eagles of Mali.

The former coach of Heartland and El-Kanemi Warriors said if the Eagles improve on the performance they put up against the Elephants, nothing will stop them from beating Mali and qualifying for the final match of the tournament.

He said "I did not believe in the team but after watching them play against Cote d'Ivoire last Sunday, I can say the Cup is coming to Nigeria. But against Mali, they need to sustain the pace, character and discipline.

"There was serious improvement in the attitude of the players and that is what they need to beat Mali. They need more of the anger that propelled them against Cote d'Ivoire. They must add to it or at least sustain the one they used against Cote d'Ivoire".

Emetoele therefore called for tactical discipline from the Eagles as he said they must be ready to play according to the instructions from the technical bench from the blast of the first whistle to the end of the final one.

He urged the players to always keep possession of the weapon, which he said is the ball because once their opponents get possession of it, it can be dangerous.

"I want to charge the Eagles to always keep possession of the weapon. By weapon I mean the ball. If they allow their opponents to take control of it, they will be in trouble.

"Against Cote d'Ivoire, they did not allow the Ivoriens to get possession of the weapon. They were all over the field and ensured they kept possession and that was why the Elephants could not trample on them".

Emetoele nick-named 'caterpillar' due to his ruggedness in his playing days reiterated that if the Eagles can step up the tempo against Mali, they will get to the final and prove pundits wrong by coming home with the Cup.

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