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Pressure on Amodu continues

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Nigeria

Nigeria coach Shaibu Amodu
Nigeria coach Shaibu Amodu has been set a target of reaching the last four

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says coach Shaibu Amodu's next target is to reach the semi-finals at the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.

The pressure will now be on Amodu, as his current contract comes to an end after the Nations Cup.

The NFF president Sani Lulu Abdullahi continues to back Amodu despite pressure from Nigerian fans and media.

"There is no reason to sack a man who has fulfilled the first part of his contract as expected," Lulu said.

"Our first mandate was for him to qualify the team to the 2010 African Cup of Nations and World Cup in South Africa.

"The second mandate remains the Nations Cup trophy or at least a semi-final finish in Angola, he knows this and we are giving him our support because we know he can achieve that."

Amodu was in a similar position in 2002 when he led Nigeria to qualify for the World Cup in Japan but was then sacked after a third-place finish at the Nations Cup in Mali coupled with a highly publicised clash with FA officials.

The coach himself is remaining philosophical about the target set by the NFF.

"If anyone asks me about my Nations Cup target, I will tell the person that I have none because I don't want to put myself and the players under undue pressure," Amodu explained.

"But any coach worth his salt goes into any competition with the intention to win.

"If a team gets to the semi-final or the final of a competition, it would have done well.

"If we win the trophy, it would only add to my catalogue of achievements.

"The brief is clear and together with the players we can achieve our targets to make the country proud."

Nigeria are in Group C at the Nations Cup and begin their campaign on 12 January against the reigning African champions Egypt before facing Benin and Mozambique.

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see also
Yobo ruled out until end of 2009
10 Dec 09 |  African
Africa reels after tough draw
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Amodu wants Eagles to shape up
21 Nov 09 |  African
Lulu backs under-fire Amodu
18 Nov 09 |  African
Bonfrere fancies Nigeria return
24 Oct 09 |  African
Nigeria league chief slams Amodu
03 Oct 09 |  African
Nigeria seek Everton help
22 Dec 09 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations
10 Apr 10 |  African

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