Peseiro unveils plans to actualise AFCON target
Jose Peseiro, Head coach of the Nigeria men’s national team, has reiterated his ambition to lead Nigeria to glory at the next Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to take place in Ivory Coast.
The Portuguese tactician had previously promised to bring smiles to the faces of Nigerians by winning the long-coveted trophy after the country last won it in 2013 under the guidance of late Stephen Keshi.
The 62-year-old tactician, who took over the Eagles job last May, has turned his attention away from the disappointment of not being at the World Cup in Qatar after the Super Eagles, under Austin Eguavoen, failed to qualify for the Mundial and said the goal was to become champions of Africa again.
“Our ambitions when I signed the contract with Nigeria, the big goal and main goal is we want to win the next AFCON,” Peseiro said.
“Of course, we know the power of the national teams who played in the World Cup, like Senegal, Cameroon, Morocco, who had a fantastic tournament. But we know that the quality and capacity of the national teams that didn’t play in the World Cup like Egypt, Algeria and others.
“I think I’ve convinced myself when I watched our national team, I know which players can play for us and I have put it in my mind that we can win the next AFCON.”
He added, “To do that, I’m trying to shape our players and join them in the right way to build the a good and a good model to play at the high level. If you want to reach the top in Africa you need to create a top level.
“For that, I try to see the players, see everybody and improve our organisation, improve our facilities, improve our training, improve everything we can.
“We played against Mexico, against Portugal, against Algeria away, to check the possibility to play offensive football, high pressure, because that’s our way. I think we have the capacity and the players for that, but we need to check our development and the way we play.”
The most recent step in Peseiro’s plan involved a trip to England, where he watched a number of games and visited several of his stars at their clubs.
Speaking on his trip, the tactician said, “This is part of the longer plan,” he says. “It’s my strategy to see for myself our players in training, in practice and it’s important I speak with the coaches, with the fitness coaches, also.
“I watched seven matches and I was at three practices to observe, to stay in contact with the players and speak with them. It’s different and it’s important I understand what they do there.
“I had good meetings with the coaches, shared some points about our players because normally we are not with them for too much time, but the club coach works with them for more time and can advise me or speak to me with more objectivity about what they can do.”