Kano Pillars and Super Eagles defender, Papa Idris has said soon after he was appointed to coach the Eagles, the first thing Stephen Keshi told his players was that they were going to be champions of Africa in 2013.
Although he could not make the final list of players for the Nations Cup, Idris was a regular face in the Super Eagles when Keshi took over in November 2011.
Speaking to Daily Trust yesterday, the skilful left footed defender said the coach told them that even as he was going to start rebuilding the national team, if they work really hard and remain focused, they would shock everybody by winning the trophy.
Idris said he and his team mates believed what coach Keshi told them so everything that is happening to the Eagles in South Africa is not a surprise to him.
He said the players have remained disciplined and committed and winning the trophy is now a possibility.
"I am not surprised by what is happening in South Africa. The moment the 'big boss' was appointed, he called us together and told us that we would be champions of Africa, if we work harder.
"We all took his words seriously and continued to work with utmost commitment. What is happening now will surprise many Nigerians but for those of us who have been part of the process, we are not surprised by it", he disclosed.
Idris also expressed happiness with the superlative performances of his colleagues in the NPL who are making waves with the Eagles in South Africa.
"I am happy that my colleagues in the NPL are doing really well. Since the championship started, Oboabona has been a super regular in the defence. Look at the goal Sunday Mba scored against Cote d'Ivoire. I am proud of them".
Idris therefore called on Nigerians to stand firmly behind the team as he said by the special grace of God, nothing will stop Eagles from winning the Cup.
"What the Eagles need most now is prayers. We have to keep praying for the team. I have no doubt in my mind that Eagles will lift the trophy on Sunday. Physically, I am not with them in South Africa but I am there with them in spirit", he said.