Head coach of Nigeria’s national U-17 team, Nduka Ugbade, has said that the Golden Eaglets will aspire to win all their matches to pick one of the African tickets to the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru, Completesports.com reports.
Reacting to Wednesday’s draw for the 2023 U-17 AFCON Championship which pitched Nigeria, Morocco, Zambia and South Africa in Group B, Ugbade said that the Golden Eaglets would go to Algeria with the mentality of winning every game and picking one of the tickets to the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru.
The 2023 U-17 AFCON is scheduled to take place from April 8 until April 30 2023 in Algeria.
“We shall approach every game with the seriousness it deserves, that is to win every game. That is the mentality we take to the tournament. We know our opponents are tough and good at this level, but we shall try to outplay and overcome them.
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“Fear? not at all but we shall respect our opponents, but we shall not succumb to fear or pressure. We shall try to create an unbelievable performance when we confront any of the teams in the competition. The target is to qualify for the World Cup.
“As five-time winners of the U-17 World Cup, we know that all eyes will be on us in Algeria, but we shall aim to qualify first by reaching the semi-finals, then try and emerge as the winner of the competition and go to the World Cup as African champions, ” Ugbade, the pioneer Golden Eagles captain and winner of the maiden U-17 World Cup in 1985 stated
Asked who are the favourites to win the trophy in Algeria, Ugbade who has also won the U-17 AFCON as assistant coach twice, said Nigeria are of course the favourites to win the competition, but added that Morocco, Cameroon, Congo, Zambia and host Algeria will also be hard nuts to crack, but remained upbeat that Eaglets will give it what it takes to win.
By Richard Jideaka, Abuja