Flying Eagles Head Coach Garba Manu yesterday declared that his decision to keep Kelechi Iheanacho on Bench at the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup was due to his fitness level.
Iheanacho could only make starting line up during Flying Eagles first group game against Brazil which his team lost by 2-4.
The Man City player sat on the bench while his teammates finished and won the remaining group games against Hungary and Korea DPR as well as the knock out stage.
In defence of his approach in the tournament which has drawn criticism from teaming Nigerian Fans, Manu who led the team to glorious triumph at African Youth Championship, AYC in Senegal weeks before the current World Junior Championship in New Zealand said “We did our best in New Zealand. It’s just that the players couldn’t acclimatize with the weather where they engaged Germany.
“Nobody should crucify the team especially the technical Officials. Nobody criticized or questioned us when we won U-17 World Cup two years ago. Nobody complained when we emerged African champions in Senegal.
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Why will people say all sort of thing because we didn’t win this tournament.
“The only reason why I left Iheanacho on bench was that he was not fully fit at the tournament.
Though Germany kicked out Flying Eagles from this year’s edition of World Youth Championship, Mali stood their ground and sent the Germans packing in Quarter-final stage.

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