Chinaza Uchendu believes Nigeria’s below-par performance at the 2019 Women’s World Cup is due to a lack of team cohesion.
In the build-up to the showpiece event last year, Nigeria played 14 warm-up games between January to June, including the Chinese Invitational, Cyprus Women’s Cup, Wafu Women’s Cup and Canada.
After claiming a ninth African title in 2018, the Super Falcons progressed to the knockout stage for the second time in history on their eighth appearance at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
Despite reaching the Round of 16 last year, the West African giants bowed out of the competition after a 3-0 thrashing against Germany.
And the Sporting Braga midfielder feels the team’s inability to impress could also be hugely blamed on the lack of regular grade-A warm-up games before major tournaments.
“Football is all about understanding and team cohesion,” Uchendu told Kick442.
“I think if the Super Falcons should play more Grade A friendly games with tough teams (countries) before major competitions like the World Cup, it will help the players have more understanding of each other and it will bring cohesion in the team.
“Most importantly, the team will get better exposed to playing tough teams almost what they should expect in these major competitions.”
Nigeria are without a substantive coach and yet to regroup since crashing for the third time in a row from the 2020 African Olympic qualifiers in October last year.
They will face Togo or Niger in the second round of the African Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers in June as they aim to claim the continental crown for the fourth time in a row later this year.