By James Agberebi:
Assistant coach of Nigeria U-23s, Fatai Amoo, has insisted that the team is not under pressure to perform at the Olympic Games following the Super Eagles' failure to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
After the Eagles failed to qualify for the 2017 AFCON, attention is now on the U-23 Eagles, who will be featuring at this summer's Rio Olympic Games.
The reigning Africa U-23 AFCON champions are in Group B with Japan, Colombia and Sweden.
"Pressure is something anybody cannot do without in life. Having said that, I will say we are not under pressure to perform at the Olympics. It's all about how we prepare," Amoo, who led the team to beat Brazil in a friendly in the absence of head coach Samson Siasia in March, told Completesportnigeria.com.
"Because the Super Eagles didn't qualify for the Nations Cup does not mean we should now put ourselves under unnecessary pressure to do well.
"I remember in 1996, the Super Eagles did not take part in the Nations Cup in South Africa and the U-23 team went on to win the gold that same year in Atlanta. And when you compare it to now, it is something similar. But I don't think because of that we should now pressure ourselves to do the same thing.
"I believe this is the time for us to be strong, get the best players and also prepare adequately. Maybe when the Olympics are close, that is when we might start feeling the pressure which is normal. But for now there is nothing like that."