Former Super Eagles and Atlanta Olympic gold medal winning coach, Jo Bonfrere has tipped Nigeria to qualify ahead of Egypt for the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon.
The 2013 African Cup of Nations champions have managed four points to sit second place behind group G leaders, Egypt who have six points.
Both teams are expected to clash in a double-header, March 25-29 respectively in an encounter that could determine the fate of the two teams for the tournament.
Having coached the Dream Team at the Atlanta Olympics in the U.S, where the team defeated teams like Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, Bonfrere revealed that the team has what it takes to qualify ahead of the Pharaohs of Egypt.
“Yes, you’re two points behind Egypt. And I think it is possible because if you have a good plan, you can win. I’ve worked in Egypt, I know how they play football in Egypt. I know a little bit of how they will play. So if you take out Egypt, you’ll be at the Nations Cup,” Bonfrere said.
“The match is about four weeks away so the coach must draw up a good tactical plan on how we can play Egypt or how we can beat Egypt. And I think it [victory] is possible with Nigerian players not ever afraid to play in foreign countries” Bonfrere added.
Meanwhile, Bonfrere has attributed the failure of the local coaches to manage the Super Eagles successfully due to unnecessary pressure being placed on them to succeed.
“Of course, I know Nigeria very well; I worked there for a long time to understand the players and the officials’ thought processes. I understand that Nigerian players like to play football and that was why I worked very well with the players. If you don’t understand the players, their mentality, then it will be very difficult for any coach to work with them and get the best from them. Your local coaches don’t always succeed because you have too many people who put pressure on them and again international football is beyond the local coach” he concluded.