Vogts to ring changes, backs Makinwa


And the coach also backed under-fire striker Stephen Makinwa, who has been at the end of some of the most stringent criticism back home.

The Super Eagles put up a lethargic performance lacking creativity and invention, especially in the last third, and Vogts told KickOffNigeria.com that he was disappointed with the performance, especially after the goal and changes would be made.

“I was disappointed about the result, and also disappointed about the last 25 minutes when we were 1-0 down. I don’t talk about the match on Friday; we have to see what happens tomorrow in training. But maybe I make changes in one or two positions.”

_quoteThe German would not talk about where those changes would be made, but he insisted that his team matched the Ivorians.

“In the first 65 minutes we were organized; we dominated the match and there was not any difference between Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

“But Ivory Coast scored and then I don’t know what happened to the players. I spoke to them about it, why they keep their heads down and the body language was bad, but that’s the difference when you play against a team like Ivory Coast who are the best team in Africa. But there wasn’t any difference for maybe 65 minutes between the teams.”

And he admitted that now there was pressure on him and the team to win their next two games.

“I am always under pressure in Nigeria. All the coaches in Nigeria are under pressure, and the team is under pressure, always professional pressure. Now we must win both matches.”

Nigeria play Mali on Friday and Vogts insisted that his team would be ready.

“We respect Mali, they have a good team, but we have to win and I speak with the boys and I tell them you have to fight, you have to win.”

On his continued selection of striker Stephen Makinwa, Vogts replied emphatically that he would support the Lazio striker and all his other players.

“I pick my players and I support my players, and Makinwa is a very good player and the whole team supports him also.”