m_Keshi not worried by criticism

Nigeria Coach, Stephen Keshi

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi says he is not letting criticism of his playing methods, selections and decisions affect him.

He has not lost to African opposition in a competitive game in three years, yet his methods have been questioned.

But Keshi insists that he can cope with criticism from sections of the country’s support.

“This is life and not everybody is going to like you,” Keshi told BBC Sport.

“So who am I to worry about everybody loving or not liking Stephen Keshi? I don’t care as long as my family loves me, as long as I am doing my job and I have good health – the rest is nothing.

“As long as I can put smile on somebody’s face every day, make them happy, that is all because I can say thank God.”

The former captain of the Super Eagles, who took over a faltering side in 2011, restored the country’s pride by winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and also led them through a successful World Cup qualifying campaign.

Despite all his success speculation about Keshi’s future has been rife in Nigeria since February, with local media reporting that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are shopping for a foreign coach.

“Worried about my job? You see this job we have is that they hire you today and they fire you tomorrow,” he said philosophically.

“I have done my best in my job for Nigeria and if they decide to fire me and bring someone else, so be it.”

The NFF has insisted his job is not under threat ahead of the World Cup, Keshi admits speculation over his position is understandable

“I believe I’m strong enough and I’ve got the experience to handle it,” said the former Togo and Mali boss.

“It happened in 2012 when Amodu Shaibu and I qualified the country for the World Cup. It also happened in Togo. So if that’s it, so be it.

“If people want to talk, I can’t stop it. I don’t worry about speculation about my job, I don’t worry about anything,” he added.

The 52-year-old is also the only African coach to have qualified two nations for the World Cup finals.

At the upcoming World Cup in Brazil the Super Eagles face Iran in Group F before taking on Bosnia-Herzegovina and will finish against Argentina.

BBC