Austin Eguavoen, the newly elected Super Eagles interim coach has admitted he is under pressure to win the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
He revealed this while speaking after his team’s first training session, which last for one hour and 15 minutes at the VSTS-Annex of Roumde Adjo Stadium.
According to him, he is trying to adjust himself to lofty expectations of Nigerians ahead of the tournament.
“Pressure yes, I am obviously. It’s just not me, even with Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Pep Guardiola or Gernot Rohr you can’t say you won’t be under pressure.
“It’s like Manchester City, one of the best teams in the World at the moment, playing the best brand of football at the moment but with Guardiola, one coach that I adore, he has been unable to win the UEFA Champions League with City. You cannot say he is not under pressure to win it.
“People expect Nigeria to win the AFCON and that puts me under some pressure but I will take it and digest it. We take each game as it comes. All the teams here have come to prove a point.”
Going further, Austin Eguavoen, who was appointed as Gernot Rohr’s replacement in December, revealed that Nigeria are grouped with Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau and begin their Nations Cup campaign against Egypt on January 11.
According to him, it’s a crucial game for his team.
He added after the match, the Eagles will then face Sudan on January 15, before rounding up their group campaign against Guinea-Bissau on January 19.
“Our first game is crucial, which will give us a lot of encouragement if we win. I’m more relaxed now unlike two weeks ago.
“The first training session lasted for one hour and 15 minutes but we could not do everything that we wanted to but I was impressed.
“The pitch is good and the environment as well. The weather is good and the boys responded very well. We are happy.
“The boys understand me now and they have not shown any sign of cohesive grievance. Their attitude has been very professional, which is good.
“I spoke to a couple of them in the aircraft on Wednesday and I will speak with some more before we have a collective session tomorrow (today).” He added.