Super Eagles handler, Stephen Keshi has told Goal that the experience acquired by his players in the Fifa Confederations Cup would come handy in subsequent matches starting from Saturday’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Cote D’Ivoire in Kaduna.
Nigeria have never qualified for the competition meant for players based in local leagues on the continent while Cote D’Ivoire have played in both editions having hosted the maiden tournament in 2009.
“Playing against top class footballers in the world, getting to know their behaviour off and on the field of play, their professionalism, these are qualities you can’t buy anywhere. All these would always come handy in any match the guys play henceforth,” Keshi told Goal.
“[The] Confederations Cup has taught me some few things and I am sure most of the guys too have learnt some things that will be very useful in our subsequent matches beginning from CHAN qualifying game [this weekend]. I also believe that my players have learnt a great deal in the competition in Brazil.”
Keshi, however, warned that every competitive game like the CHAN qualifier against Cote d’Ivoire is very crucial to his team and they are not treating Saturday’s game against the Elephants that have pedigree with levity.
The former Mali and Togo Coach said he want s to continue his rebuilding of the national team on a progressive manner despite not sailing through to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup that was held in Brazil.
His side was well appreciated by all and sundry with the impressive way they played against quality sides like Uruguay and Spain. Keshi told Goal he would like to continue on the high by churning another impressive display against the Ivorians in Kaduna on Saturday.
”Every match is crucial for us be it practice game, all matches are important because this is what we do for a living. Mind you Cote d’Ivoire has a pedigree as far as African football is concerned and I can assure you that they will surely give us a good fight. But we will make sure we do our best to make Nigeria proud come Saturday,” Keshi assured.