The Super Eagles of Nigeria are slated to tackle tournament host, Cote d’Ivoire, and relentless Guinea-Bissau at the upcoming AFCON tournament
Super Eagles legend, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, has analyzed Jose Peseiro’s squad as they prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, Soccernet.ng reports.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have been seeded into Group A of the 2023 AFCON tournament, where they will face Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea during the group stage.
The former Bolton Wanderers star believes that Jose Peseiro has exciting players to represent Nigeria effectively in the 24-country competition scheduled for January 2024.
Victor Ikpeba previously provided insights into the team as they face Saudi Arabia in an international friendly at the Estadio Municipal de Portimão.
The former Monaco star revealed that the Super Eagles have strong attacking options but still face challenges with the defense.
Okocha seems to have similar concerns but also believes Nigeria has exciting players in the squad, and the competition for a spot in the starting eleven is fierce.
“Well at the moment, you can say we are looking good, we’ve got exciting players, We’ve got good competition in the team. Because for you to win a tournament like this you need a big squad. At least, two or three good players in each position.
“And I think at the moment in the striker role we are more than equipped and in midfield, we’ve got good players. [Our] defense has always been challenging for us but I think we’ve got a good mix of experience and young players as well there,” he said to GOAL.
Speaking further, the Nigerian football legend revealed that the Super Eagles have no reason not to advance to the semifinals, and a player’s target is always to win a medal.
“So I still don’t see a reason why we should expect the team to get to at least a semifinal. I’m speaking from a former football player point of view.
“Even as a player, your target should be to get to the semifinal, and anything can happen from there. You have to give yourself the chance to win a medal, and that’s why you are going to a competition to compete, to come back home with something,” he continued.
Peseiro has been presented with a selection headache, with Victor Osimhen, Victor Boniface, Terem Moffi, Gift Orban, Umar Sadiq, and even injured Taiwo Awoniyi performing excellently at the club level and expected to be available for selection during AFCON.
Okocha revealed that it’s a good headache for Peseiro, and it’s better to have more good players in the squad than not enough.
“It’s a good headache for the manager to have. It is better to have more players than not to have enough good players in your squad.
“So the ball is in court to find the right way to get the best out of the players because we are expecting so much from the team and from the manager in this AFCON. Before we used to say we are still building, we are still looking at players. Now we’ve got more than enough players to go all the way. So the expectations are very high,” he revealed.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have not brought the trophy home since 2013, and it is highly expected that with the quality of the team they possess, they should be able to bring it home for the fourth time.