Former England manager, Glenn Hoddle, says a semi-final target for the Super Eagles at the 2010 World Cup finals is difficult but achievable.
Hoddle said on Wednesday in Abuja that it would be difficult to achieve the target in view of the short time available to the new appointee to prepare the team.
“Honestly, it will be difficult for any coach to achieve that mandate, considering the fact that there is not enough time for the team to prepare for the World Cup in South Africa,” he said.
The Briton who spoke to journalists after being interviewed for the post of Eagles’ Technical Adviser said that Nigeria possesses great football potentials to get to the semi-finals of the World Cup in South Africa.
“But with the calibre of players in the Super Eagles, the feat could be achieved with an experienced coach, and that is what I offer now with my interest in the job,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Hoddle, who led England to the 1998 World Cup finals’ second round in France, was the third of such foreign coaches to be interviewed this week by Nigerian sports authorities.
On Monday, Coaches Bruno Metsu and Ratomir Djukovic were interviewed by the panel made up of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) top shots and National Sports Commission (NSC) chieftains.
Others on the panel led by Mr Patrick Ekeji, the NSC Director-General, are some members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Super Eagles’ qualification for South Africa 2010 and former Eagles’ Head Coach, Adegboye Onigbinde.
While speaking after Monday’s interview, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, a member of the panel and Chairman of the NFF Technical Committee, said the selected coach would be expected to take the Eagles to the semi-finals.
Hoddle said he had what it takes to lead the Eagles to glory with the calibre of players in the squad, saying Nigeria’s quality motivated him into applying for the job.
He added that his experience as a player and later a coach, would also serve him in good stead.
“I am the most experienced of all the coaches available and I am confident of getting it, because I think I am ready for the job in Nigeria.
“With my wealth of experience as a former manager of the England’s national team, I believe I am most favoured for the job and I will be ready to accept the offer and begin work immediately,” he said.
The coach, who noted that Nigeria can boast of a number of good players in their individual rights, however cautioned Nigerians on their expectations from the World Cup.
“The kind of players you have are good and they are those who would require the services of an experienced coach to blend them together into a winning side for the World Cup.
“But I must caution that while we think of this, we must not forget that the World Cup is quite different from club football,” he said.