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Waldrum defends dismal Super Falcons record, insists team on right path

Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum has shrugged off concerns about the poor performances and results of the team since he took charge in October 2020.

Under the American’s guidance, the nine-time champions recorded their joint-worst performance at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco in July, losing out to Morocco in the semi-finals and falling to Zambia in the third-place match.

The top African team in the FIFA women’s ranking have also lost their last five matches in a row, including Thursday’s 2-0 reverse to Japan in Kobe, their worst sequence ever.

Waldrum is not worried though, insisting that he has done a decent job.

“I don’t put a lot of weight by what everybody outside says or the results of some games where we know half of those games we have not had our full team together,” the 66-year-old college coach told ESPN.

“We are coaching the players that we have and I am proud of their development and I think the fans will be proud of their performance at the World Cup.”

Waldrum claimed that it is false to accuse him of making the Falcons a worse team than he met, pointing out that the side had been struggling before his appointment.

“People talk about the team qualifying with ease for the World Cup in previous years,” he noted.

“Women’s football was in a different place then. What you are seeing now in the last two World Cup cycles is that the game has grown and developed in Africa like it has in the rest of the world.

“You are seeing countries like South Africa and Morocco putting a lot of resources into women’s football and we have to be careful as a country not to expect to qualify and win the Cup of Nations just because we are Nigeria.

“Even in the last tournament, you advanced to the final and the championship by two games on penalty kicks. It’s not like it was a dominant performance in 2018.”

Waldrum has been under fire for the Super Falcons’ below-par results and there have been calls for him to be sacked before next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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Naija Times