FORMER international, Ike Shorunmu, has called for patience with Nigeria goalkeepers Maduka Okoye, Dele Alampasu, Mathew Yakubu and Tobias Lawal.
The four keepers are part of the Super Eagles squad invited for the friendlies against African champions Algeria today and Tunisia on October 13 in Austria.
Sparta Rotterdam’s Okoye and Ventspils’ Alampasu have one cap each for the national team while SKF Sered’s Yakubu and LASK‘s Lawal are receiving their first call-ups.
Experienced trio Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Francis Uzoho have been overlooked due to a number of factors, ranging from club inactivity and injury problems.
Shorunmu believes the goalkeepers invited deserve their chances and feels they will garner experience with their regular call-ups to the national team.
“There is a process and that process must be followed before we can get a lasting solution to the goalkeeping area,” Shorunmu told Goal.
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“The goalkeepers invited must be doing well in their respective clubs, if not the coach would not have invited them, the invitation is part of the process.
“We must give them the benefit of the doubt. Let’s see their performances at the Super Eagles because playing for club sides is different from the national team.
“Some goalkeepers have lost confidence in the past because of pressure from the fans. By constantly being in the team, they will gather experience and learn from their seniors.
“They will also gather experience through the countries they visit in the course of being in the national team.
“When a player plays in Europe, what he experiences is totally different from playing for an African team in Africa.
“Some of these new players would not see the difference until they play against an African team on African soil. This is how they will gather the needed experience to stabilize them.
“We just have to trust the goalkeepers on the ground now and be patient with them. If any of them do not live up to expectations I believe such a player will be dropped.”