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Confident Keshi Vows To Crush Sudan

Confident Keshi Vows To Crush Sudan

Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi is giving Saturday’s clash with Sudan his full attention despite continuing speculation over his future.

Nigeria must beat Sudan in Khartoum to keep in touch with group rivals Congo and South Africa, and Keshi has promised his situation will not distract him from going for the crucial three points.

Keshi stepped down after the World Cup campaign in Brazil, in which Nigeria exited in the last 16 to France, before being re-appointed in August on a largely caretaker basis.

It was announced that Keshi would take charge for Nigeria’s opening two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers before discussing a new contract but after those games – a 3-2 defeat to Congo and a 0-0 draw with South Africa – his situation remains unclear.

With defending champions Nigeria sitting third in qualifying Group A, they are in desperate need of maximum points from the weekend’s encounter in Khartoum.

“Nigeria is not the last team for me to coach,” Keshi said. “There are plenty of teams out there. Some are showing interest in me and I thank God.

“The most important thing for me in my career right now is to win in Sudan. After that, it is up to the Nigerian Football Federation or whoever is in charge to decide.

“Let me win my games on Saturday and from there let us see what happens. If I finish qualifying and we go to Morocco, as long as Nigeria qualifies then I will know what’s next.”

The Eagles will be without midfielder Michael Babatunde, who has a knee problem, although Keshi is hopeful he will return when the two sides meet again in Nigeria on Wednesday.

The Ukraine-based player travelled with the squad to Sudan on Thursday night as they left on a chartered aircraft.

All the invited players and the coaching staff were expected to arrive in Khartoum very early Friday morning.

The clash will take place on an artificial surface at Khartoum Stadium after it was moved from the initial venue in Omdurman, and the hosts are seeking their first points of the campaign.

Sudan are yet to score in the group stage, after a 3-0 home defeat to South Africa was followed up by a 2-0 loss against Congo.

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