The Assistant Coach of the national U 20 team, Nduka Ugbade, on Friday said preparation of the home-based Super Eagles for the African Nations Championship was on course.
Ugbade told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that based on the success of the pre-tournament matches, the team seemed ready for the tournament.
He said: “I believe the players are ready from what we have seen in their friendly matches.
“I believe they have what it takes to rule Africa as the U-17 and U-20 have done.
“But, sincerely, I hope the absence of Babatunde Salami, the captain of the team, will not affect their performance in the tournament.”
The team whipped South African Premier League side, Amatuks, 3-0 at their Pretoria training camp on January 4 and played 1-1 draw with the Angolan national team on January 6.
The team will also play Cote d’Ivoire on Monday.
The 2016 CHAN is scheduled for Rwanda from January 16 to February 7.
Nigeria is in Group C alongside Tunisia, Niger and Guinea.
Meanwhile, Ugbade said the success of any nation on FIFA ranking should be adjudged by the number of victories recorded.
He said: “I personally do not believe in those rankings.
“It does not reflect the true position of the nation’s football development.
“For instance, a team wins their international friendlies and engagement back to back and by the time the ranking comes out, they slide further down.
“How does one explain that?
“FIFA ranking to me is not that important.
“It is your performance in every competition that counts.
“If a team gets to the quarter-final or semi-final of a competition, that’s a great achievement for any team.”