Lagos – Adegboye Onigbinde, former coach of the Super Eagles, has warned against any form of complacency from the players of the Super Eagles, even from the coaches ahead of the group games of the 2019 African Cup of Nations taking place in Egypt.
The experienced coach was reacting to the draws on Friday that pit Nigeria against Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi, which has caused much celebration among Nigerians that the Super Eagles have a very fair draw and a huge chance of making it out of Group B.
Speaking to our correspondent on the draw, the 2002 World Cup coach, who admitted that on paper, it was a fair draw, cautioned the players and the coaches against feeling that the job had been done already, saying that debutants could still prove very difficult to win.
“I know that many Nigerians are happy with the draw. That is fine because looking at it on the outside, it looks much like a very fair draw for us but we should be reminded that football is about what happens on the field of play.
“We should not think that we have already qualified because those countries coming for the first time can be very dangerous at times. This is because you don’t quite know them. The only solution is to prepare as if we are going to play Brazil because it is a tricky group,” he said.
Nigeria will start with a game against Guinea before taking on Madagascar and then Guinea for a place in the knockout round.
Meanwhile, Coach Gernot Rohr has posited that playing against two debutants at the group stage offered no advantage to the Super Eagles.
Speaking to Radio France International, the former Burkina Faso manager said that being debutants, it was obvious that they would come with much enthusiasm, meaning that they should not be taking for granted.
”I do not believe that playing against two debutants is an advantage. Countries like that, Madagascar or Burundi that come for the first time usually play with great enthusiasm. They also come with a lot of supporters.
”I have a lot of respect for Madagascar. It’s a country I love. There are a lot of good footballers out there.
”There is also Burundi who qualified ahead of Gabon. Burundians should not be underestimated. In any case, we will take them very seriously”, he said.