Despite the inability of Coach Sunday Oliseh-led Super Eagles Team B to go beyond the group stage of the ongoing African Nations Championship, CHAN, in Rwanda, Media Officer Toyin Ibitoye has risen in defence of the Nigerian squad, assuring that they would fight hard to qualify for 2017 Nations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Eagles will have a date to keep with their Egyptian counterparts next month when another crucial double header Africa Cup of Nations qualifier takes place in Kaduna and Cairo.
The Egyptians are meant to be in Nigeria first before 2013 Nations Cup winners, while the Super Eagles head to Cairo for the return leg.
As it stand, Egypt sit top of their group with Nigeria at the second spot.
Ibitoye who has remained optimistic ahead of the ties maintained, “for me and I believe it’s the same for many Nigerians, its better we didn’t go pass group stage at CHAN and do our best to qualify for 2017 Nations than the other way round.
“Already, the coaches have started compiling list of the players that are likely to face Egypt immediately after the team couldn’t make it to the quarter-final at Rwanda. As much as I know, the technical crew has remained focused after the disappointing CHAN show.
“Nobody, including the players and coach Oliseh, was happy after what happened during the last group match against Guinea which we unfortunately lost. Those who watched that match will testify that even the players found it very much difficult to leave the pitch about 10 minutes after that game.
“All that is needed is for attention and much focus to be on the various qualifiers facing the country. I believe that the lessons learnt at CHAN will go a long way in dusting up more effort ahead.”
Nigeria failed in their bid to qualify for the 2015 Nations Cup after playing a disappointing draw 2-2 draw with South Africa under Stephen Keshi as Head Coach.