Cadet national team, Golden Eaglets head coach, Manu Garba has admitted that his side need to keep their feet on the ground and stay with full concentration all through Wednesday’s Africa U-17 Nations Cup zonal qualifier semi-final against Niger Republic.
Manu said the need for his players to be fully alert is of a premium more in this match than any other, as they are playing against the hosts’ side, who would be backed fully by the home crowd, and distractions might come against his players.
Four players have scored for the Eaglets in the tournament, with Olakunle Olusegun their top scorer on three goals, while Olatomi Olaniyan notching two, with Hassan Hussain and Akinkunmi Amoo one each.
Though the hosts are yet to score any goal in the competition, having played two barren draws against Togo and Ghana to reach this stage, Manu says his wards cannot afford to relax, as the Nigeriens would be backed fully by their supporters in the stands.
Manu’s side side finished level on three points with Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso but topped Group B as a result of their superior goal difference of +3 and will battle hosts Republic of Niger in the last four.
In the final match in the group, Ivory Coast thrashed Burkina Faso 3-0 to set up a meeting with Ghana at Stade Municipal, Niamey on Wednesday, same day Nigeria face the hosts.
Nigeria have a score to settle with Niger, as they lost 3-2 on aggregate to the Menas in the qualifiers for the 2017 U17 AFCON after a 90th winner from Abdoul Karim Sanda.
Only the winner of the WAFU Zone B qualifiers will join six other regional champions and the hosts Tanzania for the 2019 U17 AFCON.
“It will not be easy to beat the host country, but it something we just have to do. That I have told my players and I believe they will not disappoint the country,” Manu enthused.