Despite masterminding his team’s comprehensive 4-1 thrashing of Niger in Group C opener on Monday, Sunday Oliseh is not thinking about winning the 4th edition of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) yet.
“We can’t talk about the title after only one game. Let the players digest the win today first. Football is a different ball game nowadays and I know in Nigeria everyone expects the team to win everything, but that should not be the case because there are other teams in the competition who also want to win and they have the capacity,” declared the gaffer when asked if the feat was a statement of Nigeria’s title ambition.
The Eagles delivered a master-class second half performance against the Mena after a tepid first half display, and Oliseh blamed it on the fact that his players did not apply the match game plan well.
“We cannot say we had a dream start in the competition because that is what we needed to do as a team. In the first half we were more like spectators”
“After our half-time pep talk the boys came back in the second half blazing. Despite this being the first time all of them were in the competition they gave a good account of themselves,” Oliseh said after the match.
Asked to explain what decision he would make in the central defence, since Austin Obaroakpo was now available, Oliseh was forthright.
“I am happy to have Austin back in the team but let me be sincere. After watching how the substitution (Kalu Orji) worked, I really don’t know who will play in the position. We will also try to help Jamiu rectify his mistakes,” he added.
On the next match against Tunisia, Oliseh stressed the need for the team to maintain focus and work harder in training to be able to conquer their north African opponent. “We must keep our commitment and hardwork levels high for Tunisia”, he added.
By Olisemeka Obeche