Super Eagles manager, Jose Peseiro has taken responsibility for not selecting Chuba Akpom, saying he doesn’t have “enough confidence” in the in-form striker.
Chuba Akpom, the leading goal scorer in the English Championship, was left out of Nigeria’s national team for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Despite his impressive form for Middlesbrough this season, scoring 24 goals in 31 games, coach Peseiro did not have enough confidence in the player to include him in the team.
When asked by a Journalist at the pre-match press conference, Peseiro took responsibility for Akpom’s omission, stating that he had to choose the best players for the team and at the moment, he had more faith in the other players in Akpom’s position.
“If I give you one chance to take someone from my team and put him. Who will you remove? I like all my players. I like them and I understand you”, he answered at the press conference.
“It’s my job as the coach to choose the best player for our team but if I ask other guys or maybe the 120 million Nigerians. They can’t choose others but it’s my job and in my mind I choose the best players for our team.
“Of course I know this player., I have visit this player, you check this player. You know I visit many players at their clubs. If I choose this one in this moment. I believe more on him than the others. For that I am the coach, I take responsibility. If I loose cut my neck not your neck.
“I appreciate, I know this player, my staff also. We see these players for each weekend, we see 48 match, watching all the players.”
However, he acknowledged Akpom’s talent and left the door open for him to be considered in the future
“Yes he (Akpom) is a good player I know but in this moment. I don’t have enough confidence in him but in the future of course, it’s open for everyone”, he concluded.