I’m ‘the right man’ for Eagles job, Bonfrere tells NFF
Former Super Eagles coach, Dutchman Jo Bonfrere, wants the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to give him another chance to lead the team.
“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,” Bonfrere told BBC Sport on telephone from the Netherlands yesterday.
“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 added.
Bonfrere began his stormy romance with Nigeria in 1990, when he was assistant coach to Clemens Westerhof.
The Dutch coaching duo worked together at the 1990, 1992 and 1994 African Nations Cups, winning silver, bronze and gold medals.
Bonfrere was also Westerhof’s assistant at the 1994 World Cup and subsequently managed the U-23 team to a gold medal at Atlanta “96 Olympics. But arguments over his salary and team selection made him quit the job in the United States, from where he returned to his native Holland.
He returned in 1999 and took charge of the Super Eagles at the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations where Nigeria lost the gold to Cameroun.
During his first successful stint the country was under a military government, a suitable platform for foreign managers to enjoy great financial backing and sacred immunity from the football authority.
But Bonfrere is ready to let his work speak for him should the NFF entrust him with the three-time African champions.
He believes he is ‘the right man’ to return Nigeria to the summit of African football, 15 years after he was sacked as coach.
69-year-old Bonfrere is keen to replace Sunday Oliseh who resigned from the post.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has said they have no plans to appoint a local coach on a temporary basis.
Current U-23 coach Samson Siasia will take charge for Nigeria’s Nations Cup qualifiers against Egypt later this month.
Bonfrere believes he is the right man to succeed Oliseh on a long-term basis.
“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,” he said.
“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,” Bonfrere stated.
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