Super Eagles’ new head coach, Jose Peseiro, has denied criticising the state of the pitch of the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
The Portuguese gaffer, who will begin his first assignment on Thursday against Sierra Leone, said that he never spoke with any journalist since he got to the country.
“I don’t know but I didn’t complain, I don’t know how this news came out because I didn’t speak to any journalist about nothing. I only spoke with the journalists at a press conference in the States (USA),” he said while speaking with journalists at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
He announced his belief that Nigeria has all it takes to win the AFCON next year in Cote d’Ivoire.
“Why I decided with the President to come here? Why did I say I want to win the AFCON? Can you tell me?
“I believe in the players and what they can bring to improve the standard of the team. Because if I don’t believe that we can win the next AFCON, then I won’t be here or even communicate with the President (Amaju Pinnick).
“I believe in the players because I have confidence in them and in myself also because I can choose a good way with them.
“In my entire career since I became a coach, I build on ideas, like leadership idea, modern game idea, training game idea and also about everything else in other to help and improve the standard of the team.
“But of course for me, my staff we need to share it with my players. In this environment, and for them to learn also, like what I like or what I don’t like, just for them to learn and adapt.
“Step by step, I go to learn more about these contexts, about the environment, about the characteristics of my players, not all in the video because I saw the club videos, not all in the national team.
“When I go into the pitch I train with them. In the last few days, I know too much.
“If they adapt to my tactics for tomorrow, it’s one process. We must win tomorrow, we need time. First of all, we have to win and we need to win.”
When asked about his 5-3-2 formation, Peseiro said: “I need to adapt the players, especially the home-based to the new style of play.
“We played 5-3-2 not because I like playing 5-3-2 but you know the players who are there. You know I adapt our model, our tactics to the players who came with us there.
“Local players but first of all try to put in the pitch, the normal players in the national team. After that, I put young players on the field. For creating that team for the eleven that will play, I use the characteristic of the players to play 5-3-2.”
Peseiro also added that he loves to play a high pressing and attacking game.
“In my mind, I have to manage the players. We could not play 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 because we didn’t have all the players there. More defensive players than in attack, more defensive players than midfield players.
“Only that you can play 3-5-2, 4-3-3, or 4-3-3. It’s not about the model, the main thing is the principle.
“I like to attack, like to play with high pressure, like to command the game with the ball. I can do it with 5-3-2, 4-4-2, 3-4-3 like you want but with little training of course and you need time for that but I know I have players with quality, who can learn quickly.
It’s different when you train Nigeria than other teams who don’t have qualities like our players. What I know is that they learn quickly.”
Peseiro is aiming for a first win as Super Eagles boss after narrow losses in friendly matches against Mexico and Ecuador.
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