Former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu, has supported coach Gernot Rohr over his choice of Sparta Rotterdam goal keeper, Maduka Okoye, as the Nigerian national team’s first choice goalkeeper.
Rohr, in an interview with ESPN, threw his weight behind the 21-year-old keeper, selecting him ahead of Daniel Akpeyi and Francis Uzoho.
Shorunmu, who made 36 appearances for the senior national team, Super Eagles, said Rohr’s decision must be respected.
“The coach is the focal man and with the advice from his goalkeepers’ trainer, he makes decisions on who should be the team’s number one choice. It should also be noted that he wants to make the right decision, because when the problem comes, he will be the one to dance to its rhythm. Rohr has the final say and it is very deserving to give him the benefit of the doubt,” Shorunmu, Eagles first choice at the 2002 World Cup, said.
Shorunmu added that fans should not pass an immediate judgment on Okoye, after he conceded four goals against Sierra Leone again in Benin City last November.
In addition, he said, “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 been the case with any keeper. And when you concede goals like that, you learn from your mistakes and get better.”