Former Super Eagles utility player, Garba Lawal, has underplayed the talks that the Golden Eaglets were given an easy draw for the group stage of the 2021 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations billed for Morocco.
The five-time world champions Eaglets were drawn in Group B alongside Tanzania, Algeria, and Congo, but Lawal who spoke to newsmen, said Nigeria will work hard to qualify for the next round as there are no more minions in football.
“There’s no easy group, I believe that the group is going to be tough, when any team is qualified to the group, it shows that they deserve to be there. Tanzania, Algeria, and Congo are very good football-playing countries,” he said.
“So it is not going to be easy for the Golden Eaglets, but they need to prepare early for the tournaments and ensure that they qualify to the next round.”
The former Lobi Stars assistant coach said the coach needed to inject new players into the squad that competed at the WAFU B competition in Togo where Nigeria finished as runners up behind Côte d’Ivoire.
“If the coach needs to make adjustments to any department of the team that played in the WAFU tournament he should because he knows his team better than anyone.”
Hosts Morocco are in Group A along with Uganda, Zambia, and Cote d’Ivoire.
Defending champions Cameroon will battle it out with Senegal, Mali, and South Africa in Group C.
The 14th edition of the AFCON U-17 championship will be the first time 12 teams instead of eight will battle for the title, set to take centre stage March 13 in Morocco.
The top four teams of the tournament would have normally qualified for the 2021 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru as the CAF representatives but FIFA decided on 24 December 2020 to cancel the tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic.