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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 16:08 GMT
Keshi seeks trust with Togo
Stephen Keshi
Keshi was

Stephen Keshi says trust will be a key issue in his new spell as Togo coach.

The Nigerian will be in the dug-out on Saturday for his first official match since his return as the coach of the Hawks as they face Sierra Leone in the Group Nine Nations Cup qualifier in Lome.

Keshi, who coached the tiny west African country to qualify for their maiden World Cup appearance, was sacked four months before the tournament in Germany in June last year.

But after his re-appointment last month, the Nigerian says he will draw some lessons from his previous experience to be able to shape his future with the Hawks.

"I've negotiated a short-term contract with the federation because of what happened before," Keshi explains.

"I don't trust any African (football administrator) because of what happened.

"I suggested to them to sign for 10 months up to a year and if their condition of work is good then we might go ahead and extend the contract, otherwise we part company amicably."

Keshi was returned to the post following the recent change in the leadership of the Togo Football Federation (TFF), with Tata Avlessi replacing Rock Gnassingbe.

The Nigerian, who was sacked by former the Gnassingbe-led TFF board, says he is happy with the new TFF board.

"People are more relaxed and acting professionally and doing their tasks.

"Previously it was one person controlling everything. And now they are trying to meet the players' needs."

Keshi says with this new set up it is quite clear that he would be expected to produce results.

"The contract does not need to be spelt out. As a coach you want to win, qualify the team to major tournaments and that is my goal. I want to win every game I play and eventually be at the Nations Cup in Accra."

The Hawks will be in flight this weekend to resume the campaign for Ghana 2008 with a home game against Sierra Leone on Saturday.

Keshi has warned that Togo are not going to under-estimate the Leone Stars in the group 9 qualifier in Lome.

"Winning is what I want at the end of 90 minutes," Keshi said.

"But every little country is pulling its weight. They want to come up to the big stage.

"Sierra Leone used to be a good footballing country but they have been affected by the war.

"I still believe they have a lot of good players. It's going to be a tough match but we'll try and perform well to win."

Togo are third but only on goal difference behind Benin who also have three points after two games.

Sierra Leone have one point from their draw with Mali in Freetown last September and they are bottom of the group.

SEE ALSO
Togo coach hangs in the balance
14 Feb 06 |  African


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