• Team arrives in Texas
After losing his first match 1-2 to Mexico at the weekend, Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro, has promised to do something ‘different’ when the team face Ecuador on Thursday in another international friendly in New Jersey, United States.
In the first game, Super Eagles’ stand-in captain, Watford defender, William Troost-Ekong, scored their own goal, which turned out to be the winning goal for Mexico as he tried to clear a cross. But Peseiro said the team have put behind the disappointment of the defeat to Mexico. “I take the responsibility for whatever happens to the team as the coach. We will approach the games against Ecuador differently.”
Against Ecuador on Thursday, the Portuguese promised to attack and mount pressure on them: “My philosophy as a coach is to play attacking football.”
Peseiro, who spoke with journalists after the 1-2 loss to Mexico at the AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, assured Nigerian fans of taking the game to Ecuador’s defence on Thursday at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison. “I love my team to score and pressure the opponent, this is the best way to unsettle your opponent and win games. That was how we played in the second half against Mexico and we will work more ahead of the Ecuador game.”
Peseiro is not blaming Ekong for their own goal against Mexico. “I will not blame Ekong or any player for the loss. I take the responsibility for whatever happens to the team as the coach.
“Because Ekong scored one goal does not mean he is a bad player. He did well for the team. Every player in the world makes mistakes and that is not the end. He will come back stronger.
“Every time people want players who committed errors to be singled out for a loss, it is not like that for me. It’s a team game and errors can happen to any player. I am not happy that we lost, but I’m happy with the performance of my players because they showed character, especially after what Mexico did in the first half.”
The Guardian recalls that many Nigerian fans joined the call for the sack of former coach, Gernot Rohr, over what they termed an ‘unimpressive’ pattern of football.