Abuja- Flying Eagles’ Head Coach Manu Garba on Saturday in Abuja said the team was still a work in progress in spite of the 2-0 win over Enyimba International FC.
Garba told newsmen after the match that the team was not yet ready for the African Youth Championship (AYC) in spite of their performance.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the national under-20 team are one of the six teams at the ongoing Glo Premier League Super 4 Invitational Tournament.
The Flying Eagles and their under-23 counterparts, the Dream Team VI, are with four sides from the 2014/2015 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at the tournament.
The modest Garba, while analysing the match, said the team still has some mistakes to correct before heading to Senegal for the AYC.
“Although we had a good outing today (Saturday), this tournament is not going to be our last build-up for the AYC.
“We will be going to Gambia for our training tour and to acclimatise before the championship starts. So, it is not until after then that we will be ready for the AYC.
“But, for now, we are still a work in progress, and we still have a long way to go. This is because that deficiency was so obvious in the scoring chances that we missed,” he said.
NAN reports that the Flying Eagles are using the tournament as a build-up to the AYC scheduled for Senegal from March 8 to March 22.
The former Golden Eaglets handler however said the win was a good morale-booster to the team as it would spur them in the remaining matches to eventually win the tournament.
“The win today (Saturday) was a good beginning for the team, because our opponents were more experienced. But we were more flexible, younger and faster than they are.
“What gave us the highest advantage was that our players are fitter than the opponents and we hope to be better.
“Because our aim in every tournament we participate in is to win. So, this will not be an exception,” Garba said.
On his part, while speaking also at the post-match conference, Enyimba International’s coach, Friday Christopher, attributed the team’s loss to match rustiness.
He however said the tournament would go a long way in preparing the team for the Nigerian league season and the CAF Champions League.
“I thank the organisers of this tournament, because it is a good opportunity for us to get back to work ahead of the task ahead.
“We just resumed camp not quite long, and we have not had many playing chances. But this tournament will allow us see how ready the team is.
“We met a good opposition today (Saturday), and they succeeded in pushing us to up our game which is a good one for us and it ended well for them,” the former defender said.
He however added that even though their opponents exposed their match rustiness, they could still come out with a better team at the end of the tournament.
“The game exposed the match rustiness in our team. But we see it as a positive, because it will make us do better.
“I am sure that by the end of this tournament, we will have a better team to propel our campaign at the continental championship,” Christopher said.
NAN reports that Enyimba International are one of Nigeria’s representatives in the 2015 CAF Champions League which gets underway next month.
Christopher commended the Flying Eagles for their impressive performance in the match and expressed optimism about their success at the AYC.
“They are a good side and I commend them. With the way they ran around us, I am sure if they meet their counterparts they will be better.
“So, I see them having a good outing at the AYC,” he said.(NAN)