Shorunmu backs Rohr over Okoye’s choice

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Ebenezer Bajela

Former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu, has backed coach Gernot Rohr following his choice of Sparta Rotterdam shot-stopper, Maduka Okoye, as the national team’s first choice goalkeeper.

Rohr, in an interview with ESPN, threw his weight behind the 21-year-old keeper, picking him ahead of Daniel Akpeyi and Francis Uzoho.

Speaking with The PUNCH, Shorunmu, who made 36 appearances for the senior national team, said Rohr’s decision must be respected.

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“The coach is the main man and with the advice from his goalkeepers’ trainer, he decides who should be the team’s number one choice. We should also know that he wants to make the right decision, because when the problem comes he will be the one to face it. Rohr has the final say and deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt,” Shorunmu, Eagles first choice at the 2002 World Cup, said.

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Shorunmu added that fans should not pass an immediate judgment on Okoye, after he conceded four goals against Sierra Leone in Benin City last November.

He added, “We all want a good goalkeeper for the national team. I know many people are criticising him (Okoye) based on the result the Eagles had against Sierra Leone, but it could have happened to any keeper. And when you concede goals like that, you learn from your mistakes and get better.”

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