Golden Eaglets Head coach, Garba Manu
The coach of wave-making Golden Eaglets, Manu Garba (MFR), believed his wards would be ready to take on their second round opponents in the elimination matches towards a place at the 2013 African Under-17 Youth Championship to be held in Morocco.
West African side, Guinea are yet to kick a ball in the qualifiers after getting a bye into the second round on account of their presence at the last African Championships in 2009.
Nigeria on the other hand, had missed out on qualifications for both the 2009 and 2011 editions in Algeria and Rwanda respectively.
But Garba has enthused that the Nigerian team is ready to take on any team following the manner his wards steamrolled Junior Menas of Niger with a 10-1 aggregate score line in the first round.
“With all modesty, we are ready to take on any team and we don’t mind if it is Niger or Spain,” the usually reserved Garba said matter-of-factly.
“In football, there are three areas to measure performance and that are composure, commitment and concentration.
"We are proud that these boys have these attributes and they can only get better.
“Whatever the situation is, we have told them never to lose concentration and we are happy that they were not carried away even when they were comfortably leading with four goals against Niger,” he explained, adding that the team is yet to reach its limit.
“We rested some of the players today against Niger so that we can see what others can do. Above all, we don’t have a first or second team in this Golden Eaglets and this sort of give us the confidence that whoever gets the nod to play would represent the country well,” he noted.
The Golden Eaglets are expected to play Guinea at home on October 14 with the reverse fixtures in Conakry two weeks later.
“We shall be ready for Guinea because our preparations for the upcoming matches are well on course,” Manu stated.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eaglets have been given a brief three-day recess in order for the players to loosen up after strenuous training regimen.
“Work and play should go hand-in-hand and we want the players to relax so that they can be refreshed when we commence training again,” an official of the team volunteered.