Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro has explained what his players must do to become Africa Cup of Nations winners again.
In an interview with Super Eagles media officer Babafemi Raji which was posted on NFF TV, Peseiro explained what he and his coaching crew observed about his players in the friendly games against Algeria, Portugal, Ecuador and Mexico.
He highlighted most especially the 4-0 loss to Portugal, pointing how the Eagles can take away from the game as they set their sights on winning the next AFCON.
“The objective is to win the next AFCON and to reach the objective we have objectives. We have been working on observation, player evaluation and team organisation. We had two qualifiers which ended 2-1 and 10-0. But the friendly games against Mexico, Ecuador, Algeria and Portugal we tried to check our players, we tried to check our ideas, our model to see if we can play this way or not.
“Against Portugal we tried to face them, though we lost 4-0 but we tried to face them and in the first half I didn’t like what I saw because we didn’t control the game as we want. But in the second half we had more possession than Portugal and almost scored from the penalty and also through Samuel (Chukwueze).
“I liked the second half except for the last 20 minutes because after losing the penalty we then lost our balance and you cannot lose your balance against a team like Portugal. If we had managed to score at 2-1 it’s possible to draw the match.
“We can learn from these games and when I arrive I told my players that if they want to win the AFCON and be among the best teams in Africa you need to play like a big team. Morocco is a big team but playing defensive in the World Cup, that is different. I have quality players but need to evaluate them and I believe in them.“
Peseiro, who is currently in Qatar for this year’s World Cup, explained his thoughts about the African representatives and what make big teams like England, Brazil, England and Portugal standout.
“I have been to the last five World Cup and watching the games live and I’m in Qatar for the World Cup thanks to the support of the NFF. I think it’s important to evaluate the evolutions of teams in this World Cup because it is the biggest competition for national teams. As you know I’m the coach of the Super Eagles and I arrive Qatar 2nd of December and watch Portugal and South Korea and Cameroon and Brazil.
“It was possible to watch these games because the stadiums are not far from each other and I will watch the semi-finals, third palce and the final.
“I think Ghana, Cameroon and Tunisia they lacked the consistency to advance into the round of 16. For Senegal they had a good performance in the group Aliou Cisse did a good job and the big surprise is Morocco who are good in offence but are well organised. They defended very well, close down spaces and their coach is doing a fantastic job.
“After the World Cup we will make a technical report on technical and tactical level. I like to watch the game live because you can see all the pitch, the organisation, the space and later I watch the games on video. I can speak about Portugal, Brazil, France and England because they approach the game with offence process. They try to beat their opponent with offensive play. Brazil and France play with four players in front, for France Antoine Griezman he plays like the second striker and in midfield.
“Also like Brazil Neymar play like Griezman, he plays like a second striker but sometimes build up from the back. So Brazil and France are the teams that play more of offensive, Portugal and Netherlands also. They try since the start of the tournament, they pressure and play offensive.
“For Argentina, Netherlands and Croatia they try to be more effective and also offensive but I like Brazil, Portugal, France and England because of their offensive play.”
Peseiro went on to thank Nigerian fans, NFF and the media for their support to the Team Eagles.
“I like to say thank you to our fans, the media, the Football Federation for their support they should look forward to seeing the best of Super Eagles as we look forward to qualifying and winning the next AFCON.