Only 18 players out of the 24 presently in camp will make the trip to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, for the return leg of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) final round qualifier against the Elephants.
Twenty players were originally suggested for the trip, but the team’s scribe, Dayo Enebi Achor, has said only the required 18 players will make the trip, as others who have been in camp with the rest of the squad should have gained the essential experience.
Meanwhile Keshi has disclosed that there will be no favouritism in the selection process of the final 18. All the 24 players have shown enthusiasm about the possibility of making the final cut as they continued their build up at the Astro Turf pitch of the FIFA Goal Project.
They will take on Abuja FC on Friday morning at the same venue. Team Cordinator Emmanuel Atta says the coach has already approved the game and the necessary contacts have been made.
Speaking at a media interaction in Abuja on Friday, Coach Keshi reiterated his stance that he does not see the Ivoirians overturning the 4-1 goal tally they suffered at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.
He however said he would not underrate Cote d”Ivoire, but remains confident that with the time frame available to shape up his side, Eagles will definitely come out the better side.
“Every African match is tough and difficult, everything about it is crazy, from the fans, all the frustrations by the host, so you have to put everything in you into it, just be focused and calm, you will carry the day, and that is what we are taking to Ivory Coast.
“Though we won with a good score line in the first leg, I want my players to play better than they did in the first leg in Kaduna. I have no fear we will come out the better side,” said Keshi.
He said the team will jet out of the country on July 25 with the 18 selected players for the July 27 clash.