The Super Eagles will not have an easy ride to the knock-out stages of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, so say team Manager, Gernot Rohr and skipper; Ahmed Musa, after the draws conducted in Cairo Egypt, Friday night.
The Super Eagles will be making a first appearance at the AFCON for the first time since the late Coach Stephen Keshi led team won it in 2013 and have been drawn in Group B alongside Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi.
Rohr, responding to questions in Cairo, immediately after the draws, said that what is most important right now is for his players to finish the season in their various clubs healthy, in order to prepare adequately for the Nations Cup.
“It is not an easy group because Guinea is a good and young team, Madagascar was the first to qualify for AFCON and Burundi eliminated Gabon en-route to the Nations Cup. So it is not going to be as easy as everyone thinks.
My players will just have to finish well and healthy in their various clubs and then prepare for our friendly matches against Ghana, at home in Nigeria and against Senegal before the start of the tournament in Egypt
Captain Ahmed Musa promised that the players will be ready well ahead of the competition.
“We will prepare well for the Nations Cup. With hard work, we will qualify from this group. I wish my colleagues the best of luck in their various clubs, as they round off the season, and prepare for the AFCON.
Asked if there was any team he wanted to avoid before the draws, Musa said “I am a football player and I am ready for any country. I am not afraid of anyone.”
For former Super Eagles player and the 1997 African footballer of the year, Victor Ikpeba, THE Nigerian group is decent enough; the players only need to be business-minded, going into the competition.
“We have a decent group, but we should not look down on any team. If the Super Eagles players will go to Egypt with a business-mindset to get the job done, we will qualify from the group with ease.
The Super Eagles will begin her quest for AFCON glory on 22nd June against Burundi at the Alexandria Stadium, Egypt. They will next face Guinea on 26th June, before rounding off the group matches against Madagascar on 30th June.
With Agency Reports