Flying Eagles’ Assistant Coach, Ndukka Ugbade, has assured Nigerians that the national U20 team is mentally and physically ready to hand their Junior Squirrels of Congo a defeat when both sides step out in the Group’s second round of game at the ongoing Senegal 2015 African Youth Championship.
Ugbade stated this at a post match press conference held at the Stade LS Senghor in Dakar on Tuesday.
According to him, the team is raring to go and ensure Nigeria saisl into the semi finals and also pick a qualifying ticket to the Under 20 World Cup in New Zealand.
He said: “For us, this game is more than crucial because of what is involved. We want to march on to the next stage of the championship and also ensure that the World Cup ticket is in our kitty.
“Though, we lost a little ground in the second half against Senegal but we are still very physical and need to be careful today against Congo.
“So, we won’t be complacent until we lay our hands on the tickets, that is the semi finals and the World Cup.
“We would definitely be on the offensive and also defend very well.”
On his assessment on the Congolese team, Ugbade said the Flying Eagles team have a lot of respect for their opponents, having watched them against in the second group game against Ivory Coast.
He said: “We are aware of their ability to come back when they are down in any game. So, we are going to ensure such opportunities are not allowed in today’s match.
“Some of the players in the present team were at the African U17 tournament where the result was disastrous for them because they were beaten 7-1. Although, I’m not saying they will beaten by such high margin again, but we would ensure that they are taken care of.”
On the other hand, the Congolese handler, Paolo Beretini, stated that though this is his first time of handling an African team, but he has been monitoring the Nigerian team since winning the Under 17 World Cup in UAE.
The Italian soccer tactician, however, believes his team has a chance to scale the hurdle.