Nigeria’s head coach, Jose Peseiro has acknowledged the difficulty faced by the Super Eagles at the AFCON 2023 due to the absence of two key players in his starting XI, Kelechi Iheanacho and Joe Aribo.
The coach highlighted the impact of their absence on the team’s dynamics, especially in terms of goal-scoring opportunities.
Both players have struggled to secure a spot in the starting lineup during the ongoing AFCON tournament in Cote d’Ivoire.
Iheanacho is yet to make an appearance, while Aribo has featured in three matches.
Jose Peseiro expressed the palpable sense of longing within the team, acknowledging the challenge of missing key creators.
The coach emphasized the significant impact that Iheanacho and Aribo have on the squad’s performance and goal-scoring capabilities.
In a press conference ahead of the AFCON semi-final vs South Africa , Peseiro said, “We’re missing some key creators like (Kelechi) Iheanacho and (Joe) Aribo, so it’s been hard.” He added, “But others must now step up,” highlighting the need for other players to fill the void left by the absence of the key duo.
Despite the challenges, Peseiro remains optimistic about the team’s prospects and stressed the importance of the supporting cast stepping up and showcasing their abilities.
The Super Eagles are gearing up for a crucial semi-final battle against South Africa, and Peseiro believes that other players in the squad need to take on additional responsibilities to ensure success in the tournament.