Bafana Bafana captain, Thulani Hlatshwayo has revealed Super Eagles ‘weak link’ as they face their perennial nemesis for all-important 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tomorrow in Uyo.
He disclosed that his side knows what to do and will exploit the lack of pace in the Eagles’ defence to get a result against the three time African champions.
Having never beaten Nigeria in a competitive game, Hlatshwayo knows that it will not be an easy task, although seems confident that they can break the jinx this time.
“We know we are smaller than them as players‚ so we don’t want to play the long ball but catch them on the counter. They are big‚ but a bit slow.
“It is going to be a grudge game for them. Knowing Nigerians‚ that’s how they are. They do have that arrogance they carry around. We have to be humble and make sure we don’t give Nigeria too much respect‚ and not be scared of them,” he said.
He said they won’t be intimidated by the star names in the Nigeria’s squad, and the record of never having won against Nigeria won’t play on their minds when both teams clash tomorrow in Uyo.
“We will not. We played Nigeria in Nigeria. We did well.”
Speaking also to the South African Football Association’s official website, Cape Town City midfielder, Lebogang Manyama, said the Super Eagles are not unbeatable. ” We know what Nigeria is capable of, we know about all the stars they have in their team but at the end of the day it is 11 v11 and they are human beings like us, they are not unbeatable.
“We believing in what we can do, we have to believe in our strengths and not worry too much about them. If we put up a team effort, we will most likely come up with a good result in the end,” Manyama revealed.
The 1996 AFCON champions had arrived in Nigeria through Lagos on Wednesday with a delegation of 35. And on arrival in Uyo on Thursday, the coach of the team, Stuart Baxter told newsmen that he is confident that his team will give their all against Nigeria despite the humid weather in Uyo and the fatigue his side suffered en route the venue of the game.
“We will approach the game with good confidence,” Baxter said.
“We have a game plan for the Super Eagles and we won’t make excuses for fatigue, no matter what.
“I’m confident that my players will give their all but I’m not confident about what I’ve taught them after three training sessions.
“These players have had a long season and so many of the Nigerian players had long seasons as well.
“Of course if you’re playing under the heat you have to manage it well. No matter what happens even if a volcano erupts tonight they will still be up for the game.”
The last time both teams met in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo, it ended 2-2, a result which stopped Nigeria from qualifying for the 2015 Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea.
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