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We will pass 'technical' Mali to lift the trophy, says Nigeria coach

Nigeria coach not concerned by Mali's tall players ahead of their African Youth Championship semi-final on Thursday

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 27 Apr 2011

A few hours ahead of his team’s anticipated game with Mali, Nigeria coach John Obuh is focused on winning and achieving his second main target of reaching the African Youth Championship final at the Dobsonville stadium.

“Our major objective was to qualify for the World Cup. We have accomplished this feat and our ambition now is to lift the trophy. We now have to eliminate Mali and move on to the finals,” Obuh was quoted as saying by the confederation of African football (CAF) official website on Wednesday.

“Mali is a very technical side. We have seen them play and will do everything to impose our game,” he added, “he added.

Malian palyers are known for their height, but Nigeria’s coach is confident that this will not trouble his team’s aerial balls.

“That is not an issue. The best player in the world is not very tall. To play football does not mean you have to be tall and I really do not bother about that,” Obuh said.

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria will be clashing against their West African rivals to snatch the first ticket of the final as Egypt will take on Cameroon later at the same day for the second place.

Obuh is optimistic that his players will deliver a better performance than they did in the group stage when they defeated World and African champions Ghana 2-1, losing the second game 1-0 to Cameroon and finally beating Gambia 2-0.

“We won the first encounter and we need to thank God. But losing against Cameroon was not easy. The defeat by Cameroon was good because it served as a wake up call against Gambia. After our victory in the final group game serenity has returned to the side,” Obuh explained.

“I am not under pressure to win or lose. I am only very focused on winning the game

“I will play only the team that I think will bring me good results,” he added commenting about if he will stcik with the same team that played against Gambia.

After leading Nigeria to beat Ghana in their opening game, Nigeria winger Ahmed Moussa has returned to his Dutch Club VVV Venlo, and Obuh doesn’t see a problem if the player couldn’t catch tomorrow’s game.

“There is no problem concerning him. We have been in communication and we cannot say that he will be there. I think he will be able to confirm whether or not he will be present today,” said the coach.

“We have a few worries about our players’ readiness but they are minor. I am very sure everyone will be ready for the game.”

The Nigerian youth team coach refused to comment about the other semi-final clash confirming that he is only focusing in his game.

“All teams that reach the finals must be respected. I am ready to meet any team,” he concluded.

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