Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi and his players have urged Nigerians to believe in his team as they face Congo in tomorrow’s crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash in Pointe Noire.
Keshi who spoke though his assistant, Daniel Amokachi, stated at the end of the team’s training session Thursday morning that the team has worked hard enough and the result will show on Saturday.
“Tell Nigerians to just pray for the team and believe that we can deliver”, he declared.
Goalkeeping coach, Ike Shorunmu, also backed the Eagles to avenge their 3-2 loss at home to Congo in September.
“If they can pick the three points here, nothing will stop us from avenging the defeat on Saturday,” Shorunmu said.
He also admitted that the Eagles need to score early to pile pressure on the hosts.
“The match will be tough but we need to score early so we can keep the pressure and I believe the boys will not disappoint.”
Sharing the coach’s optimism is Villarreal striker Ikechukwu Uche who is making a return to the team after a year’s absence.
He has maintained he is not under pressure to score goals for Nigeria.
“We have a very important game ahead of us and I am here to help my country qualify.”
“We know what is at stake and we have to give our best to get all three points and make sure we remain in the qualifying campaign to qualify for AFCON,” he said.
The team’s vice-captain Austin Ejide, on his part said the Eagles must work as a team in order to overcome the Red Devils of Congo.
“We have to believe in ourselves and work as a team, because we have to work more. From the goalkeeper to the strikers, everybody has to keep working and keep running.
“If all of us run as hard as we should and don’t lose the ball unnecessarily, then we should be good.”
He also added that he is more concerned about how the team fares, rather than whether he plays or not.
“Any of us can start in goal, but only one will play and we will support whoever plays.”
Eagles left-back, Juwon Oshaniwa, has also made it clear that the Super Eagles have their fate of defending their AFCON title next year firmly in their own hands.
He said: “We must be at the Nations Cup next year, yes we’re third in the table for now but our fate of defending the cup is in our hands and we must accomplish that.