Leadership (Abuja)

25 January 2013

Nigeria: Keshi Confident of Second Round Place

Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has revealed that he is confident of guiding the team to the second round. To this end, he dismissed speculations that he might be afraid his team would not pick the ticket to the next stage in the ongoing 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations.

The former Mali and Togo national coach spoke at a media briefing at the team's camp at the Ingwenyama Conference and Sports Resort in Nelspruit. According to him, there is always the pressure to win, but he was not afraid of not going beyond the group stage of the competition.

He said the Super Eagles preparations for today's crucial match against Zambia has been impressive, promising a good result against the Chipolopolo at Mbombela Stadium.

"The team is okay, the focus is on the match against Zambia, we are prepared for the match and we are waiting for tomorrow to come. We know the job we have to do here, and that is to play Zambia, and that is that. It is interesting being a Nigerian coach.

There is always pressure everywhere, even in Mali, but I am not afraid of not making it to the next stage.

"There are always advises from every corner but you just have to close your ears and do what is good for the team", Keshi said.

For him, Nigeria has respect for Zambia as defending champions, but would also put up its best performance to ensure that it picks all the three maximum points at stake today. "We have respect for Zambia, it is a great team, and a match involving Nigeria and Zambia is always an interesting game, but we will put up our best against them tomorrow (today)", said Keshi.

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