Jose Peseiro will aim to see the Super Eagles end the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches on a winning note when Nigeria hosts Sao and Tome at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Sunday
Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro has defended his decision to call up the majority of foreign players in his squad to face Sao Tome and Principe in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday, Soccernet.ng reports.
Peseiro invited 22 foreign players and only one home base player Enyimba goalkeeper Olorunleke Ojo for Nigeria’s final 2023 AFCON qualifier against Sao Tome and Principe.
With the Super Eagles already assured of a place in the continental competition which will be hosted in Ivory Coast next year, the Portuguese was expected to have invited more home-based players for the game against the 186th FIFA-ranked country.
The 63-year-old has however defended his decision stating that he using the game to bring his best players together in preparation for AFCON which is set to start in a few months.
To prepare a team to win the next AFCON, we need time for work. Everybody said we don’t need all the best players to win Sao Tome and, that we need the home base player to play the game. But what everyone does not understand is the national side is not a club, where you train every day and every week. Super Eagles have this camp and the other two in October and November, I must prepare the team, and for a team to do well, we need to concentrate more time on the players, Peseiro said in his pre-match conference.
The Super Eagles were knocked out by Tunisia in the Round of 16 at the 2021 AFCON hosted in Cameroon, and he believes his team can go all the way this time around.
In my mind when I signed the contract, my target was to win AFCON. I think we deserved more in our last AFCON, even if we lost the match against Tunisia. We deserve more, but it’s the past, and now is the present. My players have been showing spirit and commitment, including myself to how we can improve the team to win the next AFCON
The Super Eagles will begin their 2026 World Cup qualification matches with a home tie against Lesotho in November.