Odemwingie, Martins, Taiwo not needed at the moment, Says Keshi
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi says he left out the senior trio of Osaze Odemwingie, Taye Taiwo and Obafemi Martins from his provisional squad because they are not needed at the moment.
All three were left out of a provisional 32-man squad for next month’s African Nations Cup, and there have been suggestions that a lingering rift from past misdeeds with the coach might be responsible.
The Nigeria coach said that was not the case.
“I have no problems with them, they are good players, but I just don’t need them now,” Keshi told reporters. “They are still in my plans but not just now.
“I even spoke to to Osaze three days ago. I told him I was still compiling the list and that if he makes the squad fine, if he doesn’t make it, fine.”
Millwall captain Danny Shittu was handed a recall, and Keshi admitted it was to plug the holes in his defence.
“Yes. We just want to make sure we strengthen every department in the field. Shittu has been doing well in his club and we hope he can do the same for the national team like he has done before.”
Keshi has until January 9 to decide on his final 23.
Nigeria are grouped with Zambia, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia for the African Nations Cup which begins January 19 in South Africa.