Flying Eagles coach Ladan Bosso has described Nigeria’s tough group at the WAFU B U-20 qualifying tournament as ‘a blessing in disguise’, adding that he is confident Nigeria will advance to the continental competition under his watch.
Nigeria, 7-time winners of the CAF U-20 Africa Cup of Nations were on Tuesday drawn in Group B of the zonal qualifiers of the 2021 event alongside the Junior Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire, as well as arch rivals and 3-time champions, the Black Satellites of Ghana.
Hosts Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger are in Group A of the competition which is scheduled to run from 18 November to 2 December, 2020, with only the champions qualifying for the CAF U-20 AFCON in Mauritania next year.
“Everybody is going there (Togo) to compete for a slot. We are in the same group with Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire and I believe it is a blessing in disguise,” the former Kano Pillars coach told www.busybuddiesng.com.
“People will look at it as a tough group knowing fully that even the smaller countries are even tougher when it comes to football, depending on the mindset of the players.
“As a coach, we are training for a competition not just for one match. It’s going to be a good outing – qualify from this group and move to the next group. And when you are used to the terrain, you should be able to, at least, do something that will make everybody happy with you in the country.”
The experienced tactician, who has had spells with Abia Warriors, Wikki Tourists, FC IfeanyiUbah, Niger Tornadoes and Gombe United, added that a good preparation is key for his Flying Eagles side to excel in Togo.
“The most important thing is get good preparation and get the mindset of the players very positive, and forget it.”
Bosso was last month appointed coach of the Flying Eagles for a second time. In his first stint, he led Nigeria to the quarter-finals of the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada.
This time around, the Flying Eagles gaffer, who is also the President of Nigerian Football Coaches Association, says his primary target is to qualify the team for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia next year.
“Normally, as a coach, the first thing is for us to qualify (for the World Cup), because if the NFF or your employer is giving you a target: ‘take this team to the World Cup and probably play to so, so level’. If you don’t qualify, what do you do?” he asked rhetorically.
“So, it is step after step – from one step to the other.
“The first thing is for us to put a team on ground that can go and qualify in Togo. After qualification in Togo, then you know what to do next.”