Head coach of Liberia’s Lone Star Peter Butler has urged his side to play for pride when they take on the Super Eagles in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Saturday.
Liberia have a solitary win and prop Group C with three points but retain a slim but unrealistic hope of progressing to the final qualifying round if they win their last two games and results elsewhere go their way.
The Lone Star will be the nominal home side when they take on Nigeria at the Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier, Morocco where they elected to play their home games after CAF ruled that there is no venue in the whole of Liberia fit and proper to host international matches.
Speaking in his pre-match conference on Friday, Butler acknowledged his side’s limitations and status as minnows against the might and pedigree of three-time African champions Nigeria.
The 55-year-old Englishman believes his side’s lowly position in the group belied their performances and promised his team will not cower in the face of their more illustrious opponents.
“I think the most important thing from our perspective is you’re playing for pride and you’re playing for your country,” Butler said.
“We’re still playing for points. I’ve got a lot of respect for the Nigerian national team. Gernot [Rohr] has probably the complete opposite problems which I have. They don’t have funding issues, they can maybe get in a private jet, he has a wonderful array of talent to choose from, but we’ll be competitive.
“We’ve been competitive in every single game we’ve played, we’ve been unlucky. And I’m not really one to be crying, I always think the harder you work the luckier you get, but circumstances have dictated.
“We’re coming here with a positive mindset to come and be competitive and try to win a football match against a very talented team I have a great deal of respect for.”