Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: It Will Be Different Ball Game Against Nigeria - Deschamps

Sao Paulo — France coach, Didier Deschamps, whose team will clash with Nigeria in the round of 16 in Estadio Nacional stadium, a 68,349 capacity facility in Brasilia has said he is looking forward to a different game plan.

According to him, every team tries to quality from the group stage first and then map out another game plan entirely when it gets to the knockout stage which has no second chance.

Speaking at the post match conference where his team topped Group E, the former French international revealed it will be a different ball game altogether since what was on his mind at the group stage was just to top the group and qualify. He said he never wanted to take any chances; and now that he is certain he is playing Nigeria, runners up in Group F, he is going back to the drawing board to map out strategy to overrun the African champions.

Deschamps is not willing to take any chances against Nigeria when they clash next Monday because he must be thinking of what an African team did to France as defending champions in Korea-Japan 2002. It was an Africa side-Senegal that shocked France in the opening game after winning the tournament at home in France 1998.

He is also employing a game at a time strategy and wants to savour the last 16 qualification.

"We are now in the last 16, which is more important and our major objective. I am happy about that. For the game against Ecuador, I made a lot of changes but the objective was the same. We were not quite as effective as we were against Switzerland but that will change against Nigeria. I'm overjoyed, thrilled and very satisfied with this qualification."

Against Nigeria on Monday, the European coach said a new chapter entirely in competition will be opened. Deschamps said for his team there won't be much party as the plan begins immediately for the Nigerian clash.

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