Chief Coach of the Super Eagles Salisu Yusuf has said he won’t underrate Benin ahead of their August qualifying showdown for next year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN).
The Squirrels needed penalties to eliminate Togo after an aggregate tie; to set up a meeting with Nigeria in the final qualifying round of the competition meant for only players plying their trade in their domestic leagues.
Nigeria will travel to Cotonou on 11 August to face Benin in the first leg before returning to Kano for the second leg a week after.
— Nigeria Super Eagles (@NGSuperEagles) July 25, 2017
Ahead of both meetings, Salisu, who was an assistant to Sunday Oliseh at the last edition of the tournament in Rwanda, says the team will work hard to ensure qualification for the 2018 CHAN.
“We are going to give it all our best,” the former Enyimba coach said. “We (the coaches) and the players are going to work hard in solidarity and we believe at the end of the day, we will deliver the ticket to Nigeria, Insha Allah (God willing).
“I cannot underrate them (Benin) because, in modern football, you cannot underrate any team whether they are a big or small country.
“Most times, the small countries are more organised now and they prove more difficult on the field of play. But we know they (Benin) are a good team; as far as they knocked out Togo to reach this stage.
“We have to give them that respect, and that respect is our motivation to beat them well,” Salisu stated.
Nigeria finished third in her debut appearance at the CHAN in 2014 in South Africa under the tutelage of late Stephen Keshi but failed to get beyond the group stage at the last edition in Rwanda.
The 2018 edition of CHAN will be hosted by Kenya from 11 January to 2 February.