The 2023 AFCON tournament will see the Super Eagles of Nigeria play Cote d’Ivoire, Equitorial Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau in their group stage matches
Former Paris Saint-Germain star Austin Jay Jay Okocha believes the Super Eagles of Nigeria stand a good chance at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, Soccernet.ng reports.
Okocha emphasized that Nigeria approaches the tournament with a winning mentality, regardless of any past results that might have raised doubts about their capabilities.
Although, Jose Peseiro’s squad secured their AFCON ticket convincingly with a 6-0 victory over São Tomé and Príncipe, placing them at the top of Group A.
But recent concerns stemming from just one victory in their last four matches have raised questions. Okocha, despite this, remains optimistic about the Super Eagles’ ability to clinch their fourth AFCON Trophy, especially in Côte d’Ivoire.
“I think we’ve got a good chance in the AFCON like every other top nation. I think whenever we are going to a big tournament, we go in with the mindset that we’ve got a chance to do well.” Okocha stated.
Nigeria finds itself in the same group as the tournament’s host, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau, for the group stage matches.
Expanding on team dynamics, Okocha highlighted the need for a balanced approach, urging the team not to rely solely on strikers. He stressed the importance of defenders maintaining clean sheets for overall success.
“We should not always rely on our strikers. We just need to get the balancing in the team because if the strikers don’t get the services that they need, they won’t do well. If the defenders don’t try to keep a clean sheet, we might not win a game. So that’s the task that is waiting for the coaches to make sure that they get the right balance and the right players to play for us at the AFCON.” Okocha added.
The Super Eagles will prepare in Saudi Arabia before heading to Côte d’Ivoire for the tournament, with hopes of giving Nigerian fans a reason to celebrate.