The ex-FC Porto and Sporting CP manager is under intense pressure after leading the three-time continental champions to two disappointing results in only four days
Former Nigeria international Greg Etafia has called on head coach Jose Peseiro to find the right team balance for the Super Eagles to return to winning ways, Soccernet.ng reports.
Nigeria drew their first two matches in the qualifying race for the 2026 FIFA World Cup despite being the favourites to claim victories.
Despite boasting a team filled with exciting strikers, including Taiwo Awoniyi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Terem Moffi, Umar Sadiq, and Victor Boniface, the Super Eagles scored only two goals in 1-1 draws against lowly Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
In a bid to make room for many of the Nigerian attackers performing well in the top five leagues in Europe, Peseiro’s Eagles look short on quality central midfielders.
This imbalance caused by Peseiro’s desire to invite all of Nigeria’s best strikers in Europe, Etafia insists, will do more harm than good to the national team.
The former Lobi Stars goalkeeper has urged the Portuguese tactician to work with only the centre-forwards who fit into his game plan.
However, Etafia, currently a goalkeeper coach at South African club, TS Galaxy, remains optimistic that Nigeria will bounce back from the setbacks to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.
“Nigeria will come out strong when they are against the wall,” Etafia told Sunday World.
“We have good players, it’s just that the coach is struggling to strike the balance. In football, you cannot invite all the camp.
“You have to know which kind of football will give you the results instead of calling up all the good players and failing to field them. The coach cannot satisfy all the superstars.
“But it is still early for the group to be decided. We [Nigeria] have only played two matches and there are many more matches to be played.
“The Super Eagles still have a massive chance to bounce back and to become serious contenders to qualify for the World Cup.
“There’s no way we can miss two World Cup tournaments in succession, that will be a big problem for Nigerian people. The fans are not happy and if the federation had the money, they would have dismissed the coach already.
“The people are impatient because we have good players playing in Germany, France, Portugal and Italy – so there is no excuse [for the coach to lose games].”
Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the Mundial received a major boost on Tuesday after Rwanda claimed a shocking 2-0 home victory over South Africa.
The Super Eagles remain one point behind second-place South Africa and two points behind surprise Group C leaders, Rwanda, despite dropping four points in the space of a week.