Super Eagles star are set to kick-start their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations campaign with group-stage matches against Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau
Former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Austin Jay Jay Okocha has offered insights into the Super Eagles team ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, Soccernet.ng reports.
Jose Peseiro’s squad finds themselves grouped with tournament hosts Cote d’Ivoire, West African neighbors Guinea-Bissau, and Central African side Equatorial Guinea.
As the Super Eagles gear up for the AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire, concerns among fans persist regarding Peseiro’s capabilities, despite the team’s recent record of three draws and two wins in their last five matches.
Reflecting on the team’s current state, Okocha echoes the sentiments of fans, expressing the belief that Nigeria, historically regarded as the Giants of Africa with a strong football reputation, might have lost some respect and the intimidation factor it once held during his era due to recent performance setbacks.
“I don’t think we are where we are supposed to be. We have always believed we are one of the best teams in Africa. But recently we have not had the results to match our status. Because of that, we might have lost a bit of respect and fear we had during my era” he commented, as quoted by Timelives.
Building on this observation, Okocha acknowledged the squad’s talent but emphasized the need for a collective team effort over individual star performances.
“We have young players and it is all about getting them to play as a team and not as individual superstars. This is where the work of coaches will have to come into place. Without a doubt I think we have a good team.” he added.
The AFCON tournament is scheduled to commence in January 2024, and as the Super Eagles prepare to face the hosts, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau, their aim will be to offer fans something substantial to cheer about.