Kelechi Iheanacho ruled out of African U-23 Championship
The forward, who recently made his debut for the senior team against Swaziland, will not join up with the Dream Team VI, as they seek to qualify for next year’s Olympics in Rio.
“The initial plans I had with the player and his representative was that he would join us at least five days to the competition and also help the team till the semi-finals stage which he agreed but later he told somebody very close to me that his club Manchester City is not convinced to release him again since he was dumped on the bench at the last Fifa U20 World Cup under Coach Manu Garba. So as it is right now, I don’t think Kelechi Iheanacho will join us again,” Siasia told Goal.
“The good news is that Junior Ajayi who is based in Tunisia has since Sunday joined us and we are expecting the team captain Azubuike (Okechukwu) and Taiwo Awoniyi to arrive on Tuesday so that we can have a full house to concentrate on for the tournament.”
Siasia also admitted that his team was still finding it difficult to score goals, but vowed to work on their finishing.
“This team has been creating a lot of chances in competitive matches and test matches but the problem is that they used to waste these begging chances which are not good for a team aspiring to win tournaments,” he continued.
“We are expecting the invited foreign based strikers like Awoniyi and Junior Ajayi who have been with the team for some time before they turned professionals to use their newly garnered experience to help the team score goals in the competition.
“We are targeting winning the competition or better still pick one of the qualification tickets for the 2016 Olympic Games.”
The former Eagles handler confessed he has been affected by the kidnap of his mother, but was doing all he can to ensure the U-23 does well.
“I will confess to you the kidnap of my mother really affects me but this is a national assignment which I need to make sure we get the qualification ticket for next year’s Olympics in Brazil,” he added.
“I want everybody most especially the federal government led by president Muhammadu Buhari, Bayelsa State Government and the Inspector General of Police to help me secure the release of my mother.”
Nigeria have been grouped alongside Mali, Egypt and Algeria.