The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said it is not putting Super Eagles head coach, Stephen Keshi, under pressure to win the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) trophy.
Many favour Nigeria’s chances of winning the title in their debut appearance at the continental tournament.
But the build-up to Nigeria’s maiden campaign has not been rosy (to say the least) as Keshi has had to deal with the departure of some key members of his squad like; Uche Kalu, Gomo Onduku, Godfrey Obaobona, Sunday Mba, Gabriel Reuben, Juwon Oshaniwa, Tony Okpotu and Dele Olorundare- all, who have opted for greener pastures oversees.
Injuries have rocked the Eagles team B’s preparation with Gambo Mohammed having to be axed out of the race at the eleventh hour due to a hamstring injury. Yinka Adedeji is another top name exempted from Keshi’s 23-man list because of injury.
While many have argued the ‘Big Boss’ overlooked some of the experienced players in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), the fact remains not everyone could feature for the nation at a time.
However, technical committee chairman of the NFF, barrister Chris Green told supersport.com this week that the federation has not set a target for Keshi.
“Let’s not forget that Nigeria has never qualified for the CHAN in two previous attempts. The most important thing is to present a good team and to play good football. If we win the trophy, then it’s a plus,” said Green.
Nigeria opens her campaign against Mali at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday night by 8:00pm (Nigerian time).