By James Agberebi:
Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia has expressed optimism that his side can secure the three points against Egypt in their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Kaduna on Friday.
The Eagles are second in Group G on four points behind Egypt, who have six points.
They (Eagles) are currently tied on points with Tanzania, who defeated Chad 1-0 away on Wednesday.
In an interview with cafonline.com, Siasia
Posited that a win on Friday will have a positive effect on his team ahead of the return leg on Tuesday.
"First and foremost, we know this is going to be a difficult game therefore we need to have a good preparation," Siasia said.
"We don't have much time left but we just need to know how to play against them.
"Victory in Kaduna on Friday would put us in good frame of mind for the return fixture in Alexandria. We are very hopeful but we must also work very hard."
The 1994 AFCON winner said that he will be banking on the Eagles superior head-to-head against Egypt come Friday.
He added: "I feel strongly that history is on our side against Egypt; though we know that this is going to be a crucial match. This is an important match for us and we know we have to win the game in Kaduna to put our AFCON campaign back on track."
Siasia played down the fact that the game will be played on Friday, stating that his players are ready to give their all.
Siasia said: "I have no doubt that Nigerians fans are stoutly behind us because they (Egyptians) have been saying they can't lose to us in Kaduna.
"We are expecting a full house at the stadium and on our part as team we are going to do our best.
"We are going to see a new Nigerian team against Egypt on Friday. We are going to see a team that would play from the heart."
He added that they will be focusing on Egypt as a team, and not on particular players.
"We don't want to worry about any particular player rather we must be worried about how they play as a team," Siasia explained.
"We have video tapes of their past matches which we have been studying and we already know the kind of players they have – attacking-minded. I’m not going to tell you the plans we have in store for them. I can't be talking about how we are going to play but we shall be ready for them on Friday."
And on his return as Eagles coach after his first experience, he said: "It feels good and I'm happy that I have the privilege to train the team after my last experience.
"I was in charge for 11 months the last time and we didn't even lose a match; but this job is all about hiring and firing. My focus is on these two matches in Kaduna and Alexandria and I'm very hopeful that everything will turn out well."