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Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:24 UK

World Cup 2010: Nigeria striker in attack on coach

South Korea celebrate their 2-1 lead.

Highlights - South Korea 2-2 Nigeria

By Ibrahim Sannie
BBC Sport, Durban, South Africa

Nigeria's Osaze Odemwingie has criticised coach Lars Largerback, claiming he was the wrong choice to lead the Super Eagles in South Africa.

The striker blamed the Swedish coach for Nigeria's early exit from the World Cup, insisting the tactics he employed were too negative.

"I think a few things he did were big mistakes," he told BBC Sport.

Odemwingie, who was a regular under previous boss Shaibu Amodu, says the Swede's contract should not be renewed.

"I don't think the Super Eagles will thrive well under this coach given the way the World Cup turned out for us," the Russia-based player said.

"Even if the coach stays I am not afraid to say my mind because my country comes first.

"I will not leave the national team, even if he stays."

Surely there were mistakes in the way players were asked to play

Osaze Odemwingie

The Super Eagles lost their Group B matches against Argentina and Greece before Tuesday's 2-2 draw ended their stay in the tournament.

Odemwingie insists Lagerback did not deploy the right tactics during the tournament, while he and other key players like Obafemi Martins were ignored.

"We played three games, lost two and drew one in a group we should have qualified from.

"Surely there were mistakes in the way players were asked to play.

"A few things he did were big mistakes, such as telling two strikers not to participate in defending.

"I think that is a big mistake with Nigerian football when we have one defensive midfielder and one creative in front of him.

"All our middle was open and that was the problem we had against Greece."

The 28-year-old was also unhappy at the instructions the team received against South Korea.

"[On Tuesday] the instruction was that three people did not have to participate in defence.

"I think that was also a big mistake.

"Players who could have done the job like Martins and myself - who have steered this country in many crucial matches - were no longer key players.

"This is what affected our World Cup campaign in truth."

Lagerback's contract with the Nigeria Football Federation ends next month after signing a six-month deal in February to manage the Super Eagles at the World Cup.

He replaced Shaibu Amodu after Nigeria finished third at the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola in January.

Amodu had who steered Nigeria to qualification for the World Cup, after missing out on the 2006 edition in Germany.

Asked whether it was a mistake to fire Amodu with only four month to the World Cup, Odemwingie replied "yes".

Nigeria finished bottom of Group B with one point, with Argentina and South Korea advancing to the next round from the group.



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see also
Lagerback rues Nigeria finishing
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
South Korea relish last 16 place
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - Nigeria 2-2 South Korea
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Yakubu misses open goal
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Africa's World Cup sides criticised
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - Greece 2-1 Nigeria
17 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - Argentina 1-0 Nigeria
12 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Kaita gets threats after red card
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Etuhu rues inadequate preparation
13 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Poor marking frustrates Lagerback
12 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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