World Cup qualifiers: Okoye’s form worries ex-goalkeepers



Former Super Eagles goalkeepers have expressed concerns over the form of Maduka Okoye ahead of next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic, The PUNCH reports.

Okoye who replaced Daniel Akpeyi as the team’s first choice last year, has failed to keep a clean sheet for his Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam in the Eredivisie this term.

The 22-year-old has also conceded 14 goals in seven Dutch Eredivisie games so far this season, a form that has made the Ike Shorunmu and Dosu Joseph worried ahead of next month’s qualifiers.

Shorunmu, a former goalkeeper trainer with the Eagles, said, “It’s not the kind of form you want to be in when you are coming for national assignments, but I believe he will be better before the game itself.

Atlanta 1996 gold medalist, Dosu Joseph also believes that the lack of clean sheets could dampen Okoye psychologically.

“As a former goalkeeper, we all cherished keeping clean sheets but when we concede goals we feel bad. Okoye is good but conceding 14 goals in seven games is not what we want from a top young goalkeeper like him.

Super Eagles goalkeeper trainer Alloy Agu also added, “It is always not good to concede goals but most times it is not the fault of the keeper but the technical crew sees absolutely prospects in Maduka Okoye, if we didn’t see any prospects in him he won’t be in the team,”

“He is growing well in confidence and needs lots of support and we’re there to help him.

“He has the time to develop and we will give him the support he needs,” Agu told The PUNCH.

The Eagles lead Group C after two games with six points from two matches, three points ahead of second-placed Liberia. Cape Verde and Central Africa Republic occupy the third and fourth place respectively. (Punch)

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