The coach of the U23s wants his players to expect the worst possible treatment during their trip to Zambia for Sunday’s All Africa Games qualifier
Just before leaving for Lusaka on Thursday, Nigeria U23 coach Samson Siasia warned his players to be ready for a hostile reception from Zambian fans ahead of their crucial All Africa Games final qualifying match.
The Dream Team was held to a goalless draw in Abuja a fortnight ago and requires at least a score draw to secure a ticket to Congo 2015.
“Playing against Zambia on Sunday is not about tactics alone but playing to instructions and do what we are supposed to do. Our game plan is that the ball doesn’t go behind our defenders and we now start chasing,” Siasia said.
“Another thing I have drummed into the ears of my boys is that there is no such thing like offside tactics in Zambia because the referee won’t call for it. So we have to be very, very smart because we are playing in a very hostile environment. We have to be very smart in what we do and what we don’t do.
“We want to make sure we box them in that midfield because the battle is going to be in the midfield. We will make sure we can contain the Zambians in the midfield so that we don’t allow them to dominate so that we can catch them on the fast break,” he noted.
On the three star players newly introduced by the Zambian team for the return leg, Siasia boasted that he is not disturbed by their introduction but he is more concerned on leading his team to victory in Lusaka.
“I don’t think they will do better than what they did here in Abuja. What we need do is to ask ourselves the important questions: are we ready to play? Are we tactically sound and are we ready to go out there to do what we have to do to win the game?,” he queried.
Siasia however urged Nigerians not to put pressure on Flying Eagles striker Taiwo Awoniyi to deliver the goals alone for his team in Zambia but should expect the players to play as a united front.
“The exercise is not about one person but about the team. Who knows what is going to happen. We are praying that he (Awoniyi) scores and other players too score. We are not going to depend on one player to deliver.
“It is a team sport. Nevertheless Awoniyi is doing very well and I am very happy about this.
“Hopefully, we can play as a team get to score some goals and win the match and come back victorious,” Siasia assured.
Credit : Goal.com