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AFCON 2019: Don’t Dwell On Past Glory, Mansur Tells Eagles

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By Salifu Usman, Abuja

Ahead of Friday’s  kick off of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, assistant general secretary of Nigeria Football Coaches Association, Mansur Abdullahi has charged the Nigeria’s national team, Super Eagles not to toy with the feelings of Nigerian soccer fans.

He admonished the team not to dwell on their past glory, but to be hungry for glory and wary of their group opponents.

The three times African champions are in Group B of 2019 AFCON with Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar, opened their campaign on Saturday, June 22 against Burundi before taking on Guinea June 26 and Madagascar June 30.

According to Mansur, not setting a target for the team by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) was not a good omen, saying Gernot Rohr-led squad will achieve in Egypt that has not been achieved.

“The NFF president said he cannot give a target to the team and I don’t think you should give somebody a job without setting a target for him or her. Because if you give people a job and without a target, you are just wasting your time.

“There is nothing Gernot Rohr-led team will achieve at AFCON that has not been achieved by previous coaches of the national team. So, we want the trophy and they should toy with our feelings,” he said.

Mansur, who is also the assistant coach of national U-20 women team, however questioned Super Eagles’ readiness to challenge for the AFCON title in Egypt.

“The question is that, are they really prepared for this AFCON? Do we have the squad and mentality to win the trophy? We should wait and after the group stage we will know if Gernot Rohr and his boys can advance to any level.

“I am not good in prediction but you will agree with me that all the teams that have qualified to participate in this AFCON are all potential champions and they all good to win. No hunter that will go to the bush and want to come back with empty hand. Everybody wants to win. I don’t think we shouldn’t put the team under pressure, but they should be given specific target.”

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