Algeria coach Lucas Alcaraz believes his team can topple the Super Eagles of Nigeria and qualify for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Algeria are currently bottom of Group B on just one point after two games.
Nigeria top the group on six points, Cameroon are second on two points, while Zambia occupy the third position on one point.
Spaniard Alcaraz, who replaced Georges Leekens, feels if results go their way, Algeria stand a chance of picking the group’s sole ticket.
“Obviously, we’re not the favourites, but we have to do everything in our power to get as many points and wins as we can,” Alcaraz told FIFA.com.
“We have to fight hard in every game to make sure there are no regrets at the end of it all.
“We’re going to prepare in depth for the two matches against Zambia. The FIFA calendar dictates that our future’s going to hinge on those two games, played in the space of just five days. The players and the staff know what they have to do, what’s expected of them and the importance of these two matches. I need a lot of players for those two games and I’m absolutely convinced that if we beat Zambia, then we’ll qualify.
“If we can get through to the last match (against Nigeria) with morale high and full of hope after a couple of wins, I think we’ll be able to go into it with confidence high.
“If we can win our next home games, we’ll be in a good position to welcome Nigeria on the final day.”
Alcaraz, who has managed Racing Santander, Granada and Almeria among others in his native Spain, expressed his delight on being appointed Algeria coach.
He said :“It’s a pleasure for me to be coaching a major national team for a important national association. I’m in the process of compiling as much information as I can on Algerian football, both about the league championship and its players, and the ones who play in Europe. I want to know where we should be going and the style of play we’ll need to adopt, which will depend on our methods and the talent of the players.
“You have to make sure, first of all, that those individual talents are working for the team. That makes everything easier on the pitch. From what I know, our players will want to put their poor Africa Cup of Nations results behind them, which will help us in our task.
“I’ve coached a lot of African players and quite a few Algerian ones. I know them well. As for the climate, it’s just as hot in Andalusia and pretty similar to Africa.”
On Algeria’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at home to Togo, Alcaraz said: “We’re pulling together information on earlier games, so we can get ready to take on Togo. We’re also getting information on our players. We really need to prepare in depth for this match, and for every aspect of the training camp, so that the players are properly focused and competitive when the match comes round.”