Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro, has stressed that he hopes to win the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations for Nigeria, The PUNCH reports.
The next edition of the AFCON is billed to hold in Ivory Coast.
The Portuguese tactician June had promised to bring smiles to the faces of Nigerians by winning the long coveted trophy after the country last won it in 2013 under the guidance of late Stephen Keshi.
Speaking ahead of Nigeria’s international friendly against Algeria, Peseiro said the friendly game will put his team in shape to win the next AFCON tournament.
“I want to win, and also prepare the team to win the next AFCON tournament,” the coach said when asked about his expectation.
“Algeria is a good team. Of course, our goal is to win the next AFCON, but for that, we need to create the habit to win, it’s the main point. You introduce some younger players, introduce the tactical works, introduce the situation and dynamics, but at the same time, you want to win; you must create the habit to win. Every time, we want to win, to become the best national team in Africa, we must create that habit, and we want to win.”
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The 62-year-old also gave an update on the injury to Leicester midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, after the player was ruled out of Nigeria’s international friendly against Algeria.
“I think I have a better relationship with our older players and Ndidi, when he came, the fitness coach from Leicester City sent for our fitness coach because we have that connection with them saying that he (Ndid) complained in the last match,” the coach added.
“He (Ndidi) did training, small training because of the condition of the hamstring. I was around yesterday and I said I think it’s better we don’t use them because I don’t want to use an injured player in a friendly match because he can get more injured.”
According to a tweet from the Nigerian Football Federation, the 25-year-old midfielder picked up an injury in training with the Eagles on Wednesday and has since returned back to his base in England for proper medications.
The former Genk midfielder has been plagued with a series of injuries in the last year and is yet to feature for the Eagles under the Portuguese coach.
Ndidi last played for Nigeria seven months ago when he featured in the country’s 1-0 defeat to Tunisia at the delayed 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. He also missed the three-time African champions World Cup qualifying playoff against Ghana and the 2023 AFCON qualifiers against São Tomé and Príncipe and Sierra Leone due to injury.