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Women's World Cup

Nigeria coach Dennerby: We will fight harder and be better organised against France

09:41 SAST 2019/06/17
Thomas Dennerby - Nigeria
The African champions were trounced by Corinne Diacre's side last year but the gaffer insists they will not allow a repeat this time

Nigeria women's coach Thomas Dennerby believes his side will produce a superb display against hosts France in Rennes on Monday.

The Super Falcons bounced back from their 3-0 opening loss to Norway with a 2-0 win over South Korea in Grenoble last Wednesday.

The African champions will be aiming to reach the Women's World Cup Round of 16 for the first time since 1999 with a draw at Roazhon Park.

Despite being humiliated 8-0 by France in a friendly a year ago, the gaffer insists the situation is different now.

"I hope that you will see a different Nigeria team from that [8-0] game which was our first for about one and a half years," Dennerby told media.

"It was the first time we met players and the new coaches and so on. We promise that we will at least fight so much harder and be better organized than we were in that game.

"We always show respect to the team we play and we will definitely do that with France. I think all teams have a good picture of the others and maybe if you can find some weakness they know about us and we know about them as well. So I guess, it's more about who is fulfilling the plan in the best way and which team has the best day.

"I think we will have a good chance. I think we need to believe you that we can't feel that we can do it because you can't go into any game and have that feeling. So, we really have to have a really strong belief.

"I will not say that we don't feel that we are under some kind of pressure at all. I think it's a good opportunity that we have a chance to do something that we have not done for 20 years.

"So, that is just a good feeling and I hope we can bring that good feeling to the field so the girls feel really relaxed but also concentrated.

"I think if we can have both parts relaxed when we have the ball and the tough play when they defend, I think we have a good opportunity so it's a successful game." 

Dennerby who led Sweden to a third-place finish in 2011 will hope to help Nigeria break their 20-year knockout stage jinx.