Super Eagles legend Emmanuel Amunike has revealed what the Super Eagles need to do differently against Cote d’Ivoire in their second group game at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON.
In an exclusive interview chat , the renowned coach said the Super Eagles must have the capacity to manage the game against the host nation.
While decrying the inability of the Super Eagles to beat Equatorial Guinea in the opening game, he noted that it was not a bad result.
Amunike, who recorded 39 caps for Nigeria called on the team to go back and improve on areas from the game with Equatorial Guinea ahead of the crunch tie with Cote d’Ivoire.
“It wasn’t easy game. First of all, the expectations is that Nigeria is going to win it which is normal. I have always said you just don’t analyze things based on one-sided story, you have to look at the opponents you have to face which is Equatorial Guinea. What has been their pedigree and how successful have they been able to progress and maintain consistency shows you that they are not a pushover side.
“Unfortunately, we were not able to win that game. We had some chances in the second half but thanks to their goalkeeper who was exceptional and was able to stop those opportunities that could have taken us to get the three points.
“In general terms, it’s not a bad result. It’s better than not to lose. Unfortunately, they scored first and we have to equalize through Osimhen. We just need to go back and look at the team. I keep on saying you can’t go into a battle based on your strength, you have to look at the strength and weak point of your opponents and also look at your own strength and then know what you can do.
“The game has come and gone. What matters now is for them to go back and look at the game and then look at the areas they need to improve and reinforce and be ready to play against Cote d’Ivoire which is the host country.
“It is not going to be an easy game looking at the pedigree between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, the rivalry and history between these two countries when it comes to football. I wish them the very best of luck.
“They must have the capacity of managing the game. In modern football now, if you are a team that cannot manage the game, then you find it difficult. That means you have to be chasing the balls always. If they can manage the game and be able to keep it compact, and not only just sending the long balls to Osimhen and everybody is expecting Osimhen to do miracles.
“The midfielders need to involve more into game playing. They need to support more on the offensive aspect. They need to have more balance and also when you don’t have the balls, they need to be in positions to close the spaces. These are areas you have to bear in mind that you have to be compact when you are defending.”