Mambas of Mozambique Head Coach, Joao Chisano on Monday assessed the chances of the teams in group A of the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN), and came to the conclusion that Nigeria is the most pressured of all the teams, even as Nigerian Head Coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, says his boys can handle the pressure.
Chisano, whose team is sharing the same Garden Court De Waal hotel with the Eagles says he made the assertion because his team if beaten by the Eagles have nothing to lose but the reverse will be the case if Nigeria were to lose to his side. “The Eagles are the big brothers in Africa, the African champions and the Coach is the African Coach of the Year, we don’t have any of those accolades, so pressure is on Nigeria not Mozambique.
On likely qualifiers from the group, Chisano said even if his side were to be beaten on Wednesday, the Eagles still has an uphill task against Bafana Bafana on Sunday. “With their massive fans and the Vivuzelas, Nigeria will again be under pressure to perform as African Champions”.
The youthful coach said he will however not be surprised if his team was eliminated from the first round, because according to him the pitch in Cape Town is very poor and that accounted for his side’s 3-1 loss to the host in the opening match. He also said he’s looking to build a strong side in the future that his countrymen will be proud of.
On his part, Keshi said he has been talking to his players along with team psychologist, Robinson Okosun and other officials for the players to forget the past and concentrate on Wednesday’s game. “Gradually, they are getting off it but I must admit that only three players played well in the last game and that was why we lost, we expect eleven players to play well on Wednesday for us to get the result we want”. On Bafana Bafana game on Sunday, Keshi simply said, “we won’t talk about that game now, after the Wednesday game we can talk about that, for now the focus is on the Mambas game”.