As Nigeria confronts Libya in their second group C match on Friday evening, Coach Salisu Yusuf was asked about what his approach to the game, goal scoring worries for his team and other important angles highlighted below:
Salisu Yusuf (Head Coach, Nigeria)
Fist game was a draw against Rwanda and I think that’s not a bad result. We look out for the next game with positive attitude to see that we can have the three points. We know they have gone nine games without a loss, and they have been a team like a club side because they have been together since 2014 with only a few changes in the present squad. They stay like a club side, they have that cohesion and understanding in their game. They (Libya) are a good team but I believe every team is beatable in football when you do the right thing and take chances.
On the approach for the game and the home support for the Libyans
The field of play is about eleven players against the other eleven though at times the fans can influence the team. If a team is keeps focus and concentration they don’t need to be jilted , and I believe that our team have the ability to do that. We have a discipline defense and we are optimistic that we can beat this Libyan team.
Scoring against Libya
In the game of football you need to score goals. We are focused on that and we will work very hard even harder than against Rwanda because it is going to be a tough game. They have a good team, but they are also beatable. We can still put the ball behind them. You recall the games against Rwanda, the players did very well. We were only unlucky not to have scored. The goalkeeper has been beaten like three times, the woodwork, the up-right. We are still looking the team and the positives.
On Anthony Okpotu to start the match against Libya and Injury concerns:
We have three central attackers in the team but Okpotu is the most experienced and clinical no doubt. May be he was unlucky that day, he can start the game, we believe in his ability and he can deliver.
We have two injury concerns in the team. One is our goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai and another is Eneji who picked up a knock in the ankle in our last game in Abuja. He’s a good player we expect him to be back as soon as possible for the team.
Is Salisu Yusuf worried about the scoring form of Nigerian clubs generally?
The national team is not the club side where you develop player’s weaknesses within a short period. We try to bring the players together within three weeks. If you observe the last Super six tournament we played in Abuja, we were the highest scoring side, even the clubs are not getting the goals. It is more of developmental problem with the clubs in Nigeria; we are not producing the strikers we use to have before. The solution is we have to go back to basis at the clubs