Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro, in his pre-match interview ahead of Nigeria’s friendly with Portugal, is optimistic about Nigeria’s chances on Thursday.
The game against Portugal will be played at the Estadio Jose Alvalade on the 17th of November and it is the European nation’s only pre-world cup qualifier before they head out to Qatar.
The Super Eagles will miss the Mundial in Qatar after an aggregate loss to Ghana earlier in March this year. But Peseiro believes his lads can do better, and they have enough quality to beat Portugal in Lisbon.
“Sincerely, I am wishing that this is a FIFA World Cup group stage match, because I tell you, that is the level at which Nigeria should be playing.
“Even though that is not the case, our objective is to go out there and win,” Peseiro began.
“It is good that we are playing big teams. I am enamored by that because this is good for the team.
“It will sharpen the team to achieve our goal of winning the next Africa Cup of Nations. We also have the opportunity to test a number of players.”
On the issue surrounding the absence of Victor Osimhen from the squad due to injury, Peseiro revealed his displeasure at not having the Napoli forward available for the fixture.
“The doctor from Napoli sent a report to our (Nigerian team) doctor that after the match (against Udinese), Osimhen felt pain in his back,” Peseiro said. “And that he needs between ten and 15 days to recover.
“What can I do? Of course, I like to play with Osimhen. He’s a fantastic player. I like to play with the best players.
“But he’s not here. It can happen. I’m not happy about that. I’m sad. But now I don’t think about Victor Osimhen. For me, more important is the players I have here.”
Osimhen has not featured in any of the three friendly matches – Ecuador, Mexico, Algeria – that Nigeria has played under Jose Peseiro.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago