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Keshi prepared to step down

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi says he is prepared to quit the job despite leading the team to the Africa Cup of Nations final.

The coach came in for criticism for his locally-based selection policy and slow start in South Africa, but his decisions will be hailed as a master stroke if Nigeria beat Burkina Faso in the final on Sunday.

“It is my home country, and it feels great to see Nigeria advance to the final after such a long time,” Keshi told Goal.com.

“I would love to continue with the job, but again, if it doesn’t happen, I don’t really care. I am a professional coach and I will pack my bags and leave.”

The veteran boss, who won the Afcon in 1994 with Nigeria as a player, said he is not stressed about what people think of him, and will continue to back his own judgement on team selection.

“In my side there are no stars. I opted to go with players who are going to respect me, listen to me and who are mentally fit, because that is what wins matches, not big names,” he said.

Keshi said he would love to continue with the job after the Afcon, but that will depend on who is in charge of football in Nigeria.

“I don’t owe anyone any explanation, and I am not here to please anyone. If people like me then that’s good but if they don’t, I don’t care. I am here to offer my services because I care about my country,” he said.

“When you have players that get along with each other and know that no one is a star then you are on the right track.

“Yes, there is still a lot of work to be done but I am proud of the progress that we have made so far.”

Fri 8 February, 2013
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