Ex-Nigeria international, Ifeanyi Udeze, has suggested that Super Eagles technical adviser Jose Peseiro is under pressure to lead the team to victory in the first 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Sierra Leone on Thursday.
Peseiro has lost the two matches he has been in charge of since his appointment in May. The Eagles lost to 2-1 Mexico in an international friendly in Texas, United States of America, last week, and another 1-0 defeat in the hands of Ecuador a few days later in New Jersey.
Four home-based players got the chance to make their debut for the Eagles in the friendlies. However, Peseiro did not include any of them in his 27-man squad invited for the clashes against Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe.
Speaking with Complete Sports on Sunday, as the attention now shifts towards Nigeria’s game against the Leone Stars at the Moshood Abiola national stadium in Abuja on June 9, the former left-back states that the Portuguese is now desperate for his first win as the head coach of the national team.
The ex-West Bromwich Albion defender notesthat the 62-year-old tactician wants to make do with the foreign players to get the desired outcome, adding that it does not mean he lacks confidence in the home-based players.
“I think for now, he just want to do with foreign-based players for now, and see, it does not mean he does not have confidence in the home-based players, but I think for now, he is under pressure, he put himself under pressure because he wants to get his first win, which will be very, very important to him,” Udeze started.
“The home-based players should just calm down, I think they will have their own opportunity also to play some games.”
Nigeria has not got the better of the Leone Stars in the last two competitive meetings. The qualifiers for the 2021 AFCON between the two countries ended 4-4 in Benin City and goalless in the reverse fixture in Freetown.
Udeze, however, expects the team to show character and hunger, particularly coming on the heels of the defeats in the friendly matches.
“I want to see character, I want to see a different approach, I want to see a situation whereby they have a different mentality; mentality to win games. That is what I’m looking forward to,” he explained.