Flying Eagles head coach Paul Aigbogun has stated that they will accord the necessary respect to their Fifa U20 World Cup second round opponents, Senegal but that they are not afraid of them ahead of the tie in Lodz, Poland.
The finalists at the last Caf U20 Cup of Nations in the Niger Republic thrashed Nigeria 2-0 in the final of the Wafu U20 tournament meant to prepare the teams in the sub-region for the African championship in Niger but Aigbogun is upbeat about the Flying Eagles’ chances ahead of the game billed for the Lodz Stadium.
“It will be African to the African team. They are a good team and we will show them respect but we won’t fear them,” Aigbogun told the team’s official media office.
“We have watched them play right from the U20 Championship and during the Wafu Cup of Nations. We have to be at our best to beat them. Any team at the competition from now henceforth will be tough opposition and we must prepare very well.”
Aigbogun praised the courage exhibited by his players during their hard-earned 1-1 draw against Ukraine and the fact that they played according to his instructions throughout the game played in Bielsko-Biala Stadium.
He further said that he informed his players during the half-time team talk to ensure that they go into the second half with the mindset of securing a positive result.
“We knew it would be a difficult game because we knew that Ukraine is a very organized team and are also very disciplined,” he continued.
“We had a good look at them and planned for them. The players were organized and kept to the plans from the beginning to the end.
“We were a bit predictable in the first half because we knew either a win or a draw would take us through.
“The players were making sure they didn’t concede any goal but once they let-in a goal and also lost a penalty kick, what we told them during the half-time was that we can’t afford to lose the game. They also knew that we must score. They expressed themselves better and were able to get a goal.”