Salisu Yusuf, Super Eagles head coach, has said that the Nigerian team is mentally stronger than the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
The former Enyimba coach disagrees with the notion that the Lions will destabilise the Eagles’ set-up with their physical strength.
“They may have the physical strength but we have the mental strength which for me far outweighs their own kind of strength,” Salisu told TheCable.
“Being physical and aggressive is the strength of the Cameroonian team but they still have their weaknesses here and there.
“But if you watch more critically, we have much strength than them.”
Salisu expressed optimism that Nigeria will qualify for the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“We are optimistic that we are going to qualify but It’s going to be very hard. We will need to fight for everything that we are going to do.”
Yusuf told TheCable that he was not shocked by Cameroon’s success at the recently concluded African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
“It was a tournament and the Cameroonian team fought for it. Even at the beginning of the tournament, nobody gave them any chance of winning the cup.
“Sometimes, you know that a team can just pick up as the tournament progresses and win the championship.
“We know that they have their strengths, we also know that they have their weaknesses and we are going to exploit their weaknesses.
“We are not scared of them but we will respect them as African champion. We will work out something to overpower them.”
Salisu said he wasn’t worried that some key players of the Super Eagles now ply their trade in China while some continue to struggle for regular playing time in their club sides.
“I think we have two players there in China- Mikel Obi and Ighalo. When Mikel was in London with Chelsea, he was not playing.
“Yet, he was playing and played well for the national team. What of now that he is playing? It will be better than when he was in London.
“At times, playing in a bigger league is an advantage but if you are playing in a bigger league and you don’t have the quality, it’s another thing altogether.
“We have some strikers too. They are doing well. And if Ighalo keeps scoring, he will still stand a chance but we will have to look at whether a player is playing well in the main league, then we will compare and see who is a better player at the moment when we are making selections.
“We will see which quality we have at a given time, that will give us more option in selection,” he said.