Coach Sunday Oliseh has expressed delight at the unity in the Super Eagles’ camp as the group focuses on earning a place at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.
Nigeria could only draw 0-0 with Tanzania’s Taifa Stars at the weekend as the race to Gabon 2017 reached a third of the way, but former captain Oliseh says he has confidence in his wards to steer Nigeria to the finals.
“I have said it over and over that I am no magician. We have to come to accept the hard fact that we are not right there at the top, at the moment.
“No doubt, we have potential, and based on the unity I have seen amongst the players, and the willingness to work hard and accomplish, we will get back to the top in good time.”
Sunday Oliseh spoke at a press conference at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt ahead of Tuesday’s friendly with the Mena of Niger Republic.
“We are building a new team, and patience is required. It is like starting from the scratch, because the fact is that we didn’t qualify for the last Africa Cup of Nations.
“However, I have the confidence that this group will make Nigeria proud again.”
Coach Oliseh will lead his troops out at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium against the Mena, who lost 0-2 to Burundi in Bujumbura on Saturday. But right back Leon Balogun, who suffered a knock at training and thus missed the Tanzanian match, flew back to Germany from Dar es Salaam.
Midfielder Izunna Uzochukwu is also out, and this necessitated the invitation of Nasarawa United midfielder Bature Yaro. Also, defender Kenneth Omeruo has recovered from his knock against Tanzania.
Today’s match starts at 3pm.