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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: ‘There is nothing to be scared of’ – Patrick Pascal dismisses Cameroon fears

17:55 GMT+3 03/07/2019
Nigeria vs Cameroon
The ex-international knows the Super Eagles face a strong Indomitable Lions in the Afcon Round of 16, but is confident of getting a good result

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr and his men are not frightened by the prospect of facing Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16, according to Patrick Pascal.

It has been a bumpy campaign for the three-time African champions, having struggled to get wins against Burundi and Guinea before losing to Madagascar 2-0 in Alexandria.

The Super Eagles went to Egypt in what some considered uncharted territory, as this generation did not have to contend with such pressure at the 2006 Afcon, where they finished as third best team.

The Indomitable Lions are up next on Saturday, and although Clarence Seedorf’s side will likely be considered favourites, Nigeria fancy their chances – a sentiment the ex-international and Bauchi FA boss echoes.

“In football, two plus two can give you six, two plus two can also minus itself. We played Cameroon home and away during the World Cup qualifiers, so there is nothing to be scared of,” Pascal told Goal.

“This is another competition and the only way to go about it is to go out and play. The boys have gotten their momentum back after losing to Madagascar.

“In camp, our concentration is about how to defeat Cameroon on Saturday.”

Most Nigerians feel that Rohr’s team could have faced a weaker side if they had avoided defeat against the Barea, however, Pascal feels there are no minnows in African football while assuring that the Super Eagles would soar very high on Saturday.

“If we had won our last game, Democratic Republic of Congo would have been our opponent, but can you call them a small country when it comes to African football? They have great clubs like Tout Puissant Mazembe and the likes, so no one would have rated them as pushovers,” he continued.

“Madagascar played very well, were very disciplined and they won – so it has been destined to happen that way. All we want to do now is correct our lapses.

“Nigerians want to win all the time but this is a game where you cannot win all the time. Many of the players went on hunger strike after the loss and that is a sign that they feel bitter about the slip.

“To be crowned as champions, we have to face the stronger teams and not hoping for easy oppositions. We are ready to face anybody and trust me, we will give our best to emerge victorious.

“It will even surprise you to know that these Cameroonians are also scared of us. I want to assure Nigerians that there is nothing to be scared of. The team spirit is high and we are all going out to get the much-needed victory on Saturday.”