The Head Coach of the Nigeria U-23 team, Samson Siasia has said that there is no need to panic as the Dream Team VI take on hosts, Senegal in one of the semi final games of the Africa U-23 Championships.
Siasia said that his team will cope despite the fact that they will be without team captain Azubuike Okechukwu, who is suspended after receiving a second yellow card in the game against Algeria on Saturday.
The Dream Team VI could also not be without Stanley Dimgba but Siasia assured that there was no reason to panic over the absence of the players as he would still fashion out a style capable of making Nigeria go past hosts, Senegal in Wednesday’s semi final contest at the ongoing Africa U-23 Championships
“We would have loved to have Azubuike because he is the captain and a big motivator, and you have to have a leader on the field. But he’s suspended, so we have to live with that. There is no need crying over spilt milk. In life, you always have to make adjustments in several areas. Azubuike’s absence will give another player the opportunity to prove himself.”
He added: “We are not going back home empty –handed; it’s no retreat, no surrender. We have to get ourselves ready for tomorrow’s game; it’s going to be a difficult one. It’s going to be eleven players against eleven, so we have our chances to qualify.”
Reacting on his rearguard that has conceded four goals in three games, Siasia said: “We have learnt our lessons. Two games in which the first half looked good and the last half didn’t. We made our corrections and you can see from how we played in the last game.”
Coach Siasia added that for now, he is using FIFA U-17 World Cup sensation Victor Osimhen sparingly, so that the boy doesn’t get consumed by the occasion.
Wednesday’s clash will take place at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor, where Siasia scored Nigeria’s first goal in a 2-1 defeat of host Senegal in the opening match of the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations.