Former Enyimba coach Kadiri Ikhana has stated that lack of continuity with players and inadequate preparation as reasons why Nigerian clubs struggle in the CAF Champions League.
Ikhana, who famously led Enyimba to the first of their two CAF Champions League titles in 2003, stated this in an exclusive interview with Busy Buddies.
The former Kano Pillars gaffer’s comments are coming after Lobi Stars’ embarrassing 3-0 thrashing by Mamelodi Sundowns at the weekend in the competition, to all but dash their quarter finals hopes.
“The Nigerian teams we have now; they lack continuity, especially with players,” the 2003 CAF Coach of the Year said. “Because you find out that when a team qualifies for the (CAF) Champions League you see them recruiting between 10 to 20 players. It will take time before this team can come together to play. So, I think this is one of the problems.
“Secondly, our preparation is not adequate. I can remember vividly, it’s just like yesterday as far as I am concerned, the preparation Enyimba had in 2003 is equal to none in this country. I don’t think we have such preparation (now).
“And look at the Enyimba players of then; we had players who were together for a period of 3 to 5 years. That makes them solid and makes them think as a family.
“I think those are the two major problems I can see,” the ex-Super Falcons coach concluded.
Enyimba remains the only Nigeria side to win CAF’s elite club competition after back-to-back triumphs in 2003 and 2004.