Odemwingie stung by personal nature of 2012 criticism

Nigeria forward Osaze Odemwingie
Odemwingie feels fan criticism of his personal display in the costly 2-2 draw at home to Guinea was over the top

Nigeria forward Osaze Odemwingie admits to feeling stung by the criticism he received in light of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations failure.

Many fans blamed him for missing chances in the 2-2 draw at home to Guinea, when a win was need to qualify.

"Critics were looking for reasons and I felt a little bit over-blamed for the team's failure to qualify," he said.

"It was a collective effort. I think the personal criticism was more about my relationship with the manager.

"I think that's what caused this situation. I had a little dispute with the coach and he has a lot of support in Nigeria so there was a little negative reaction to it."

In March this year, Odemwingie was dropped by Nigeria coach Samson Siasia after leaving a training camp without permission.

The striker was forced to miss June's 2-2 qualifying draw in Ethiopia, where the dropped points resulted in another hammer blow to the Super Eagles' qualifying chances.

Injury then deprived Odemwingie of contesting September's 2-0 win in Madagascar, meaning his appearance against Guinea was his first competitive international in six months.

Nonetheless, a few missed chances ensured he earned widespread vilification as Nigeria failed to qualify for the Nations Cup for the first time since the 1986 finals.

"It's been tough," Odemwingie added. "My country is so big and we didn't qualify for the African Nations Cup and football means so much to them."

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