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Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Thursday, 14 August 2008 13:20 UK

"Dream Team" face up to criticism

Nigeria celebrate
Nigeria's lax attitude has infuriated their coach

Nigerian players have accepted the stinging criticism aimed at them by their own coach, despite reaching the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games.

Samson Siasia publicly berated them for inconsistency, after the "Dream Team" nearly contrived to throw away their 2-1 win over United States in China.

The team conceded a late penalty against the USA in their last group game and their lax performance nearly cost them.

That prompted coach Samson Siasia to condemn his squad.

"When these players go to Europe, they change, they come back here and think that we cannot do without them," he said.

Victor Obinna
Victor Obinna says Siasia knows the players best
"They mustn't be ball hogs. Football is not a show game, it is business."

Now some of his players have accepted the criticism.

"We're still a young team and sometimes we don't show maturity at the right times, like when we were 2-0 ahead," Victor Anichebe said after the win over the USA.

"That's the time when you just need to keep the ball. You don't need to go forward in numbers, or make rash challenges at the back."

Goalscorer Victor Obinna added: "He [Siasia] knows what he wants, he knows his players and really tries to bring the best out of them."

Nigeria face Ivory Coast on Saturday in the quarter-finals in Qinhuangdao.

see also
Kalou sends Ivory Coast through
13 Aug 08 |  African
Mandjeck earns draw for Cameroon
07 Aug 08 |  African
10-man Cameroon hold Italy
13 Aug 08 |  African
Nigeria hold Dutch to 0-0 draw
07 Aug 08 |  African
Victors guide Nigeria to victory
10 Aug 08 |  African
Nigeria edge into last eight
13 Aug 08 |  African
Messi scores in Argentina victory
07 Aug 08 |  Football
Ivory Coast ease past Serbia
10 Aug 08 |  African

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