Ahead of the forthcoming 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), the Super Eagles goalkeeper trainer, Alloy Agu has said that Nigeria won’t underrate any of her opponents.
The 2021 AFCON is set to hold in Cameroon in January, 2022.
Nigeria, after the draw that was held in Yaounde on Monday, is in Group D alongside seven-time champions, Egypt; Sudan, and Guinea Bissau. Nigeria has been tipped by pundits to qualify from Group D alongside Egypt, while there is an assertion that Sudan and Guinea Bissau will be a walkover, Agu has condemned the ‘smaller team’ tag that sports analysts use over underdogs.
While reacting in an interview with Premium Times, a newspaper from Nigeria, the goalkeeper trainer has said that no team will be overlooked in the course of training and in the competition proper. He added that the era where teams were looked down on was over.
“Nobody should see any team as a smaller side because the game has developed tremendously in Africa, and every team is seen as a potential champion provided their preparation is good.
“We won’t be looking down on any of these teams, rather, we will study them and prepare well against them.
“Don’t forget, those teams that people regard as smaller teams tend to play better when they come against a bigger side like Nigeria. There won’t be room for complacency on our side,” he added.
The Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has already hinted in his preparations plan, as he targets a better outing in Cameroon, compared to the third-place finish in Egypt two years ago.
Rohr said, “We will have at least one or two friendlies before the competition, we will start our campaign on the 11th (January). It’s the third day of the tournament so we have a bit more time but we have to be in Cameroon on the 6th – five days before the competition.”
Many pundits have tipped Egypt to emerge as Group D winners, followed by Nigeria, the Super Eagles will face Sudan four days later before rounding off their campaign in the group stage with their third game against Guinea Bissau on Wednesday, January 19.