2023 AFCON Qualifiers: Peseiro sweats on Eagles’ fitness

Determined to win his first competitive match with the Super Eagles, Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro wants the Super Eagles to be as fit as a fiddle when they face the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in their 2023 AFCON Group A opener tomorrow at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.

Yesterday, the Portuguese drilled the Super Eagles in fitness as they fine-tune preparations for his first official games as Nigeria national team manager.

Peseiro was reportedly not comfortable with the ‘slow and start’ performance of the team as they lost to Mexico and Ecuador on a recent tour of the USA hence emphasis on fitness drills.

Midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo said the Super Eagles are not oblivious of the task ahead for tomorrow’s tie against the visiting Leone Stars in Abuja.

Both sides played two pulsating stalemates in the run-up to the last 2021 AFCON held in Cameroon including a pulsating 4-4 draw in Benin City after the Leone Stars bounced from an imminent 4-0 defeat to tie the game in regulation time.

Speaking ahead of the Group A opener, the loanee from Stoke City to Watford midfielder told the NFF TV that the Super Eagles would not want such an incident to repeat itself again tomorrow.

“The most important thing is for us to start with a win because the game is not going to be easy for us,” noted Etebo who was part of the team that was held 4-4 by the visitors the last time. “I could recall what happened in Benin City when we led 4-0 and the match ended 4-4 while we drew 0-0 away. So we must be careful by taking every match serious from the start.”

Etebo described the new Portuguese coach José Peseiro as a familiar face having known him while playing in the Portuguese league. “I think I know the coach while I was playing in Portugal and I hope he will help the team and put a smile on the face of Nigerians,” he said.

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