The Portuguese tactician could be shown the exit door if he fails to get the former African champions flying at the continental championships next year
Moroka Swallows goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi has confessed he is eager to return to the Super Eagles and regain the team’s number-one gloves, Soccernet.ng reports.
Akpeyi, who has 18 caps for the national team, has not been a part of the Super Eagles squad since Jose Peseiro took charge of the three-time African champions in May 2022.
In Akpeyi’s absence, none of goalkeepers Francis Uzoho, Maduka Okoye, and Adeleye Adebayo, has impressed between the posts for Nigeria.
And with the Africa Cup of Nations tournament kicking off in Ivory Coasts in a few weeks, there have been calls for Peseiro to look for a new number-one goalkeeper.
While the former Sporting Lisbon manager insists he is satisfied with Uzoho, Akpeyi has revealed he continues to wait for his chance to return to the national team.
Asked in an interview if he could be the answer to Nigeria’s goalkeeping crisis, Akpeyi said: “I think I’m better than yesterday. Today is better than yesterday. It’s just that (I’m) waiting for the opportunity.”
The Super Eagles missed the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and kicked off the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign on a disappointing note after stumbling to two 1-1 draws against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
Rwanda and South Africa are ahead of Nigeria in Group C, with only one nation guaranteed a qualification ticket in each group.
Still, Akpeyi remains convinced that the Super Eagles will return to their peak after their false start, citing the example of Argentina, who lost to Saudi Arabia in the opening rounds only to become world champions on the last day.
“In Qatar, Argentina never did well from the beginning,” Akpeyi noted. “But they ended up winning (the World Cup).
“Football has changed. No team is an underdog. Everybody is stepping up, year after year. I must say that at this time, we need to understand that aspect of the game and not because you have all the players playing in Europe and you expect to knock everybody down.
“You don’t have to get three points in your hotel room. You have to get three points on the field. And that is what we were not able to do. But I’m sure the coach already sorted it out where it needs to be fixed and all that.”
Akpeyi, 37, started in four of Nigeria’s six matches at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, where the Super Eagles won a bronze medal.