Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi pointed to pressure and a lack of big game experience after seeing his wards lose 1-2 to Mali in their first group game at the ongoing African Nations Championship in South Africa.
The Super Eagles looked discomfited for most of the game as they let in early goals in both halves, although a second half resurgence led by substitute Gbolahan Salami almost hauled them back in it.
Keshi said the pressure on his boys was huge, “The pressure was massive and I expected this type of thing happening but I am certain that they now know that they have to satisfy themselves and have confidence in themselves, because we have lost the opening game and we have to forget that and fight for qualification from the remaining two games.”
Keshi said most of the players were playing at the big stage for the first time and it showed in the manner they played, adding that he has been talking to them and he was sure that the result will show in the second game.
The Super Eagles looked a better side in the second half, and Keshi said he simply asked them to loosen up and enjoy their game instead of trying to impress the coach, the fans, the nation and even scouts.
“The team will definitely get better.”