By Johnny Edward:
Home Eagles head coach Salisu Yusuf has admitted that defeating Libya in Friday’s Group C clash at the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco will be a tough task for his team, Completesportsnigeria.com (CSN) reports.
Libya currently lead Group C after their opening day 3-0 win over Equatorial Guinea on Monday while Nigeria’s Home Eagles were held to a 0-0 draw by Rwanda.
Salisu however remains confident his side’s tactical discipline can see them edge Libya in the encounter billed for the Grand Stade de Tangier.
“We will play with 11 players against 11, though we know that the fans most times move the team, if we keep focused without being jittery, we can beat them (Libya),” Yusuf said during the pre-match press conference in Morocco on Thursday.
“We have the tactical discipline to do that. I think we can play them and also win. We are optimistic ahead of Friday’s game.
“It’s going to be a tough game against Libya than we had against Rwanda. If you recall that in our opening game, the players did well and were unlucky not to have scored. Their goalkeeper was beaten three times during the game but the team was saved by the upright.”
On his side’s profligacy in front of goal, Yusuf said: “The national team is not a club side where you correct players’ weaknesses in a short space of time. That’s an issue to be solved at the club level.
“We just try to bring them together. The longest time we had them in camp was for three weeks in Abuja so you cannot change a player in that space of time.
“It’s one of the fundamental problems of Nigeria football. We are not producing the kind of strikers we used to have in the past.
“The solution to the problem is to go back to the club level where you develop a player based on the position they play.
He also backed Anthony Okpotu to break the duck for the team despite his struggles. He said: “We have three strikers in the team. We have Anthony Okpotu who is the most clinical striker and the most experienced in the squad.
“He (Okpotu) was unlucky not to have scored. We believe in his ability and he may continue in that role against Libya.”