Super Eagles midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi, feels ex-coach, Sunday Oliseh, is to blame for the country’s failure to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Oliseh abruptly quit his role February – a period the Eagles were preparing for two double headers against seven-time African champions Egypt.
The West Africans failed in their quest to beat the Pharaohs which signalled an end to their hopes of returning to Africa’s biggest football tourney.
And Onazi, 23, expressed his frustration at missing out on a second consecutive AFCON – accusing the former Ajax midfielder of using the players to prove a point.
“It was a case of pretending to fight for others whereas you were actually fighting for yourself,” Onazi told the Punch.
“Oliseh needed something but he used the players against the federation to get what he wanted.”
The Lazio man added that the former coach did not consult the players prior to appointing CSKA Moscow forward, Ahmed Musa, as captain of the national team.
Oliseh had controversially stripped Vincent Enyeama of the captain’s armband – a move that shocked Onazi and his colleagues.
“He (Oliseh) just told us (players), ‘I’m changing my captain.’ I didn’t even know,” Onazi stated.
On the declining fortunes of the Eagles, the former youth international says the three-time African champions will definitely bounce back.
“We (players) are ashamed of ourselves with what has been happening to the national team.
“We want to keep winning and make Nigerians proud. The NFF president (Amaju Pinnick) has been very supportive to the team; he’s done so much for us, so it’s painful we are not doing well.”