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Keshi wary of Nigeria rivals

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has stressed there are no minnows in Nigeria’s group for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Keshi’s side have been drawn in the tournament’s Group C, which comprises Zambia, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.

Despite being favoured to top the group, Keshi says that his team will treat their rivals with equal respect.

“I don’t think there is any weak side amongst the teams that have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa,” Keshi told Goal.com.

“If you have qualified, that means the team merits it. So any group that you find yourself in you just have to do what you have to do to survive in the group.

“There is no cheap group and I really don’t think there is a big group either. All teams that qualified are there on equal strength until otherwise proved during the course of the competition.

“The most important thing is how you prepare your team as the mentality of the players and their attitude is the key to success in the competition.”

Nigerian players are currently enjoying a rich vein of form for clubs across Europe and, while pleased with that news, Keshi is anticipating some tough decisions when selecting his squad for the biennial tournament.

“I think the fine form of my players in Europe is quite heart-warming news most especially coming at a time we are planning our final preparations for the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa,” he said.

“It is good for a coach to have multiple choices that he can pick from.

“This is what I want so it is a good thing for us. But we have a number of attackers we need to take along to the Nations Cup.

“We surely cannot take everybody there because we have other departments to consider like the midfield, the defence and even the goalkeeping area.

“We have a stipulated number of players that we can actually take to the competition, so we will see.

Whoever we think is ready that will not only play the game but also help in engendering team spirit and also help the team to achieve the result we crave for will be invited.”

Thu 8 November, 2012
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