This Day (Lagos)

13 October 2012

Nigeria/Guinea: Manu Dismisses Guinea Fears, As Eaglets Tackle Junior Syli Stars

Guinea's junior Syli Stars will certainly meet their waterloo on Sunday when they meet the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria at the U.J Esuene Sports Stadium in Calabar, is the candid opinion of Golden Eaglets' Head coach, Manu Garba (MFR).

The match, which kicks off at 2:00 pm Nigerian time, is a second round-first leg game in the 2003 African Under-17 qualifier towards participating at the forthcoming African Youth Championship to be hosted by Morocco.

Speaking ahead of the game during a media session at the University of Calabar's Abraham Ordia Sports Stadium, Manu said he is confident that his team would win.

"Pressure? What pressure?"Garba said rhetorically."I don't know anything about pressure despite the fact that we know little about the Guinean team."

Unlike the Golden Eaglets,this is Guinea's fist game in the 2013 Under-17 qualifier after enjoying a bye into the second round.

" I don't agree with you that we are under any pressure simply because we beat Niger on a 10-1 aggregate in the first round rather, we are at an advantage to continue from where we stopped last time, " said Garba, a gifted midfielder in his heyday with El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri.

"We duly respect to our opponents and even if we are playing Chad, we are going to respect them. We are ready for Guinea and we are going to force them to play to our rhythm because we have a good team.

"Since we started this campaign, we have shown that we are a high scoring side and we are going to continue in that tradition against Guinea on Sunday.

"We want to score as many goals as possible without conceding any at home so that the job would be easier when we go for the return leg match in Conakry," he added.

Meanwhile, Eaglets goalkeeper, Adamu Abubakar, has made a clarion call to his teammates not to mess up his birtday anniversary by failing to beati Guinea on Sunday.

Abubakar marks his birthday every October 15th which coincidentally comes up on Monday-a day after the Golden Eaglets'second round-first leg home match against their Guinean counterparts.

"I'm optimistic about our chances against Guinea and I have told my teammates to beat them silly when we play against them on Sunday,"said Abubakar, who made his maiden Golden Eaglets' appearance in the 6-0 defeat of Niger last month.

Abubakar who has risen from being a fringe player to a contender is not getting carried away, saying any of the other three goalkeepers in the team is as good as being the first choice.

" I count myself lucky to be here," the usually reserved Abubakar, who earned his badge in this year's Shell Cup en route to the Eaglets camp, said matter-of- factly.

"We have all been exposed to good training since we came to camp and I believe any of my colleagues is capable of keeping any day.

"Of course, I would be happy if I'm given the opportunity to keep against Guinea but the most important thing is for us to win.

"I have told my teammates to win this particular game which is just a day to my birthday and I'm sure we are going to be victorious Insha Allah," he said.

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