Nigeria U23 coach Samson Siasia has debunked rumours that his players rejected the $1,000 bonus proposed by the Nigeria Football Federation to pay the squad as winning bonus for beating Gabon in the first leg qualifying match of the 2015 All African Games.
The team defeated Gabon 4-1 in Libreville to start the campaign on a very bright note.
Siasia told Goal: “In Gabon we never discussed anything about bonus. We are not worried about money now. The most important thing for us now is to be focused on the games we are playing to make sure we qualify for the All African Games. Money is not an issue right now.
“The players will get their match bonuses because the NFF didn’t say they won’t pay them. But nobody is actually complaining about being paid $1,000 or something else.
“These boys are very disciplined and they want to have a bright future in the game and Nigeria has given them the platform.
“So it is not about money and they don’t complain. That is why you see them playing from their heart when they go out there,” Siasia clarified.
The former Super Eagles trainer also vowed to work more on the defensive area of the team before their return leg against Gabon in Abuja.
“We have noticed that we need to work on the team’s defense which I am not totally happy with for now. But we are not going to look outside the shores of Nigeria to get the players needed to fix this because we have quality players among the pool of players we have here in Abuja that can help us fix it,” Siasia said.
“The last game we played against Gabon we won 4-1, we scored four goals while they scored one. So I think they didn’t play that bad.
“I just don’t want them to tell them that they are doing well now because there is room for improvement. I want them to be more focused and work more to make the defense solid.
“If we bring fresh players from outside to beef up the defense line, it will be difficult to start adjusting the back line. It is some few days to our next game so we will keep with the ones we have now, watch our videos and make those corrections to make sure they will be good enough to defend well on that day,” Siasia assured.
Siasia has announced Monday as deadline for his players to return to camp after their weekend showing for clubs in continental competitions.