National team head coach, Stephen Keshi, is optimistic that the Super Eagles will not be push-overs at next month’s FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil
Keshi said that though qualifying the Eagles for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is a top priority for the him and the entire team, they will nevertheless give the 2013 Confederations Cup their best shot and see how far they could go.
He also said he is more focused on the two World Cup qualifying matches away to Kenya and Namibia than the Confederations Cup , adding that it would not augur well for Nigeria to win Confederations Cup and not qualify for the World Cup.
“We shall approach the Confederations Cup with the same seriousness that won us the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. But before then, we hope to pocket the maximum points in Kenya and Namibia to boost our World Cup qualifying chances.”
“The Confederations Cup will be tough with all the continental champions on parade, but I can assure you that the Eagles will give a good account of themselves in Brazil and see where we stand at the end of the day.”
“Playing against world and European champions Spain and South American champions Uruguay will not be easy. We shall give them some respect but we shall not fear them. So long as it is going to be 11 vs 11 on the pitch, we can spring some surprises,” Keshi stated.
On why he picked Joseph Akpala ahead of Michael Eneramo as replacement for injured Emmanuel Emenike, Keshi said it was a difficult decision to make but he chose Akpala based on the needs of the team for now, while positing that any of the duo could fill the void.