Coach Manu Garba who led Nigeria’s U19s to the just concluded Suwon Invitational tournament in South Korea has defended his team’s woeful performance
The Nigerian team had an embarrassing tournament where they played three games and lost all 3 scoring just once while conceding a mammoth 12 goals in games against England (1-8), Iran (0-1) and South Korea (0-3).
However the 50 year old experienced coach is resolute with his defence that his team did not fail but rather even performed way above his expectations based on the opponents they faced at the tournament in Korea.
”We had school kids picked from grassroot teams and Academies in Nigeria up against some players of other nations, who have played in the UEFA Champions League for top teams.” Manu Garba said
”Against England 75% of the players we played against have all represented top clubs in the English Premier League at senior level, against Iran we missed a penalty and lost via a controversial penalty.”
” In our last game against South Korea, we lost 0-3, are you aware they had two players who are close to the main team of Barcelona?, it’s a learning curve for my boys. In a year or two time Nigerians will understand better.”
Manu Garba was the coach of the U17 class of 2013 that lifted the world cup in UAE in 2013 in a team that had Taiwo Awoniyi Kelechi Iheancho & Isaac Success. He coached the same set of players to the U20 championship in New Zealand but was eliminated by Germany in the round of 16
He was again appointed by the NFF as the “new” handler of the Nigeria U-17 in February 2016 but failed to go beyond the qualifying stages after losing 3-2 on aggregate to Niger Republic