Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Coach Zaki Tips Eagles for Afcon Glory

Former Super Eagles star, John Zaki has tipped Coach Stephen Keshi's Eagles to impress at the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

Speaking to Trust yesterday, the assistant coach of Lobi Stars of Makurdi expressed satisfaction with Eagles preparation for the championship and said barring ill-luck the team will spring a surprise.

He also noted that the inclusion of six Nigeria Premier League in the 23-man list is a step in the right direction because even, if they do not get to play in South Africa, they would acquire the necessary experience.

Zaaki who made a name playing for the once dreaded BCC Lions of Gboko maintained that the coach knows what he wants in the players so nobody should accuse basing his selection on sentiments.

He explained that whenever it comes to selecting players for a major tournament like the Nations Cup, it is always a very difficult task for the coaches because every player does everything humanly possible to impress.

"I want to say that the Eagles can impress in South Africa. They have been together and been preparing hard for the championship. Eagles recent performances show that they are determined to impress.

"Barring any form of ill-luck, they can go far and spring some surprises. Coach Keshi has done well by including six home-based Eagles in his final squad for the championship. This will go a long way in inspiring domestic players to step up their game.

"I know it was not easy for the coach to arrive at the final 23 players because every player did his best to earn a place in the team".

Zaki urged the Eagles not to put themselves under too much pressure but do everything to avoid any embarrassing outing in South Africa.

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