Home Sports 2015 Africa Youth Championship Ugbade: Flying Eagles will qualify for W/Cup

2015 Africa Youth Championship Ugbade: Flying Eagles will qualify for W/Cup

Following their 3-1 win over hosts Senegal in the opening fixture of the 2015 Africa Youth Championship, sl10.ng speaks exclusively to former Nigeria international and Flying Eagles assistant coach, Nduka Ugbade. He talks about their triumph over the Senegalese, and how they hope to make improvements ahead of subsequent games. He also talks about what the win means to his team and much more. Enjoy.
Congratulations on the win over Senegal. Can you share with us, your thoughts on the game?
I thought it was a good game because we won, which was very important. We needed to get that win because it was our first game and we needed something for the confidence. So I would say it was good.
Would you describe it as a perfect game?
No, not perfect. Like I said, it was a good game but we know it wasn’t perfect as we made some unnecessary mistakes which could have been very fatal on another day, so it was far from perfect but it was good. We also need to understand that it was our first game and some of the players were playing in a competition for Nigeria for the first time, so it could also have played on their minds. We will work toward getting better in subsequent games.
From a tactical point of view, what areas would you say you made the most mistakes and why?
We gave the ball away too cheaply sometimes, and it allowed the Senegalese get some advantage, which I thought shouldn’t have happened. I thought we were a bit slow in getting the ball out of the defense at times, and we became predictable as a result, which also put some pressure on our goalkeeper.
The passes from the defense forward weren’t the best and it slowed our game and affected our shape a bit. As a unit, I thought the defense did well but we have to improve and ensure we get better at moving the ball from the back on the ground, while still retaining possession. The reason we made such mistakes, like I said, could be down to the fact that it was our first game and maybe some of them were a bit jittery.
What sort of game plan should we be expecting in the second game?
I can’t share that information but what I can tell you is that we will make improvements. The shape of the team will be better and our passes will be more accurate. We have to take it one step at a time.
Congo and Cote d’ Ivoire played out a draw, which means Nigeria has the advantage and a win in the next game, Nigeria are through to the World Cup in New Zealand. Is this an advantage or pressure?
We try as much as possible not to play under pressure, so I would like to see it more as an advantage. I like to see the cup as half full, rather than being half empty. I believe we will make progress and we shall be at the World Cup.
Thank you very much, coach
Thank you very much my friend.

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