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Pinnick: Eagles cannot afford to be overconfident

Pinnick: Eagles cannot afford to be overconfident
November 18
17:24 2014

Amaju Pinnick, president of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has warned that the Super Eagles cannot afford to be overconfident going into Wednesday’s crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa.

After beating Congo 2-0 in Pointe Noire to get their campaign back on track, a win in the last game against Bafana Bafana at the Akwa Ibom Stadium in Uyo will guarantee a place in next year’s AFCON in Equatorial Guinea.

But Pinnick wants the players to avoid taking their opponent for granted.

“Pointe Noire was a bright point for us, no doubt. We went there with a strong mind to turn the campaign around and we did just that. But there are still 90 minutes to go in the qualifying race and it is critical that we maintain focus,” he said.

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“The wise guys tell you that it is when a guy gets too confident that he is wide open for a sucker punch. I am a strong optimist and I know that we are as good as being in the draw for the final tournament. But we must keep a level head for those 90 minutes, maintain focus and clinically take our chances.”

South Africa has never beaten the Super Eagles in a competitive game, with both sides finishing 0-0 when they met in Cape Town in September.  Pinnick expects the status quo to be maintained on Wednesday.

“I have speaking with the head coach and some of the players and I know that they are determined that nothing will go wrong. We have a way with South Africa but we will not underrate them.”

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