Abuja – Chidiebere Nwakali, Flying Eagles and Manchester City’s defender, on Friday in Abuja said the National U-20 team was not where it was supposed to be yet.
Nwakali made the remarks after the team thrashed Nigeria Nation-Wide League (NNWL) side FC Abuja 7-2 in a test match played at the FIFA Goal project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the test match was in continuation of preparations for the team’s 2015 African Youth Championship (AYC) Qualifiers scheduled for next month.
“We are not there yet because in the game of football, once you begin to rate yourself high, the game will disrespect you.
“But each time you respect the round leather game, it will also respect you,’’ he said.
He praised the coach and the technical crew for doing a good job, adding that the players had been put through very intensive training sessions to bring out the best in them.
“I thank God for the kind of coaches we have and the information at our disposal because we play more of information rather than formation.
“I believe with the kind of information we have been exposed to, we can conquer any team that come our way,’’ he said.
The defender noted that he would bring his wealth of experience from abroad into the team as they prepare for the African qualifiers.
“The experience I had abroad was more of tactical training, but here, we combine both tactical and technical training, which makes us stronger than them over there.
“The technical experience which Kelechi Iheanacho and I got from Coach Manu Garba and his crew was what gave us an edge.
“It makes us excel in the Manchester Youth team as well as train with the first team,’’ he said.
Nwakali also said that he and Kelechi were looking forward to breaking into Manchester City’s senior team.
“All we need is an opportunity to play; once that opportunity comes we will grab it with both hands and never let it slip away.
“As Nigerians, we always have a very strong mentality toward the game and we can fight to conquer any challenge that comes our way,’’ he said.