Lobi Stars Team Manager, Barnabas Imenger has charged the Super Eagles to wary of the Pirates of Seychelles in their Saturday afternoon African Cup of Nations qualifier slated for Stade Linite, Victoria.
The Eagles and the Pirates are winless after one game each in the Afcon qualifiers after Nigerian team opened their account with a 2-0 home loss to South Africa in Uyo and Seychelles receiving a 5-1 bashing in the hands of Libya mid last year.
With a win, the only option for the Eagles to bounce back in style, Imenger who was a former Nigeria International admonished the team not to be carried away by the Pirates poor start to the campaign and thus not start the game with caution in Victoria.
He reminded the Eagles that there are no minnows in football again and that only hard work and perseverance along with good preparations guaranteed success and that they must possess these four to think of beating Seychelles who are considered lightweight on paper.
“This game will determine a lot of things and most especially it will help us to bounce back from our poor start against South Africa,” Imenger told Goal.
“It is a game we can’t afford to lose because another defeat could mean putting ourselves in a worrisome situation of missing a third successive Afcon after the 2015 and 2017 debacle. We must go for an away win but must do so with caution.
“We need to study them very well and try to accord them the respect needed because we are playing on their soil. We cannot afford to just throw caution into the wind and play as if it is a training match. We do not have any small team again in world football and we must face them with some respect.”
Imenger admits that the Eagles are in a dicey situation after the opening day loss to the Bafana Bafana but noted that a win against the Pirates will spring the team’s quest to stage a comeback in the qualifiers and fight for one of the two tickets.
“It is difficult as it is at present but we can do ourselves a lot of good by picking the maximum points in Seychelles and also put up a spirited outing in our doubleheader fixtures against Libya next month,” Imenger continued.
“It won’t speak well of the Eagles missing the Nations Cup on three straight occasions. We must do the needful to ensure that our flag is hoisted in Cameroon next year. There is a lot to fight for but we must first win the game in Seychelles.”
The Eagles and Seychelles are third and fourth in Afcon Group E table with no point after a game while Libya and South Africa are first and second with three points each ahead of the weekend fixtures.