Former Nigerian coach, Johannes Bonfrere believes he is ‘the right man’ to return Nigeria to the summit of African football, 15 years after he was sacked as coach.
The 69-year-old Dutchman who was brought to Nigeria in 1994 by compatriot Clemens Westerhof was sacked by the Glass House in 2001 after losing a World Cup qualifier in Sierra Leone. He was also assistant Super Eagles coach from 1990 to 1994 and led Nigeria’s U-23 team to gold at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996.
Speaking to BBC Sport on the telephone from the Netherlands, Bonfrere, believes he is the right man to succeed Oliseh on a long-term basis. This is coming just few weeks after the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick said they have no plans to appoint a local coach on a permanent basis.
I have worked in Nigeria for a long time in the past and I know what to do to get the Super Eagles flying again. I love Nigeria because that is where my football mentality is most at home and I have a fantastic relationship with the people there.
Bonfrere expressed his willingness to coach the three-time African champions should the NFF entrust him with them again.
If I am asked to come back, I would have to prove to everyone that my results and performances can win me the support of everyone. You can’t complain about criticism or ask for respect if you don’t deserve it. I want another chance to set a standard that will help improve Nigeria football.
Someone else will come and struggle because he has no idea where he is going but I’m the man to do it because I have proven that in the past.
He added that no local coach have been able to succeed with the Eagles they don’t have what it takes to take the team higher.
Apart from Stephen [Keshi], the other local coaches have not succeeded because they cannot give what they don’t have to take the team higher.
Other foreign coaches have also failed because they come with the arrogant attitude of being a world class coach and a big name to perform magic there, and that wrong notion meant they had no passion, desire and the required knowledge to succeed on the job.
I was very successful because I did not separate myself from the reality. I worked with youth and domestic players; I had faith in my Nigerian assistants and gave my best despite all the challenges.
No one has done what I achieved and I believe I am the right man to return Nigeria to glory days in Africa and the world.