Ezenwa predicts tough CHAN 2018 for Nigeria

Ikechukwu Ezenwa
Lolade Adewuyi/Goal/Perform Media
The captain of the Super Eagles B side is of the view that their group stage opponents won’t be pushovers

Even though many believe that the Super Eagles B have been handed very easy opponents in the group stage of the 2018 African Nations Championship,  Ikechukwu Ezenwa thinks otherwise.

The Eagles will compete with Libya, Rwanda and Equatorial Guinea in Group C with matches scheduled for Tangier during the 2018 CHAN meant for players plying their trade in their domestic leagues.

The goalkeeper feels that the draw may be good on paper but claims that the Eagles must respect their opponents and stay humble during their group games.

“Libya have taken part in some editions of the CHAN and have even won it on one occasion while we all saw what Rwanda did last year as hosts. They were the team to beat and they surprised all to get to the semi-final while Equatorial Guinea are a very good side when it comes to football,” Ezenwa told Goal.

“Equatorial Guinea dont have many professionals outside the country which means that they will be using their normal team that they used during the World Cup and AFCON qualifiers in Morocco next year. It is not going to be easy. We just have to be focused and put our heads on the ground and stay very humble.

“We should note that any team that has made it to the competition should not be joked with and that the participating nations in CHAN 2018 must have made up their minds to come and compete for the trophy.

“We must go all out to make the country proud. We must first all ensure we take it one game at a time and not be preoccupied with games that have not been played.”

He also hailed the decision of the League Management Company to include the Eagles B side in the annual pre-season tournament for clubs representing Nigeria in Africa next year.

“It is a welcome development. I think playing more games will also help us for team spirits because during the Super 6 we will get to meet the likes of Akwa United, MFM, Enyimba, Plateau United and Kano Pillars.

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“Playing such games will be of great help to us before the start of the CHAN competition in January. It will ensure we play together and the players’ confidence will be boosted.

“I think arrangement will be made to ensure that we resume camping because of the start of the Super Six. I know that we have been told that we are going to be camping in Ilorin, Kwara State and I think that before the first week of December we should be in camp.”