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Keshi: We´re not in class of 1994

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi insists his inexperienced side are yet to reach the heights of the nation’s dominant 1994 African champions.

Keshi, a player in the team that won the Africa Cup of Nations 19 years ago, guided his side to this year’s final with a 4-1 victory over Mali in the semi-finals in Durban on Wednesday.

“The 1994 squad took us five years to build. This team is just five weeks old,” he said.

“We are still growing. If the players think we are there, that is it.

“If they think we can’t lose a game, it’s going to be like this forever, then no.

“Sometimes things go up and down. We’re still adding and subtracting.

“If I see a player that is very good that can provide something tangible for my team I’ll bring him in.

“I’m still building. But I don’t know if I’m going to be building after the tournament because after the final on Sunday I don’t know if I’m still going to be in a job or not.”

Meanwhile, Mali coach Patrice Carteron said it was difficult to come to terms with the loss to Nigeria.

“I am proud that after so much hard work with the players we’ve been able to play well,” he said.

“Even though we didn’t go through to the final, I’m keeping positive and thinking about the positive aspects of the team.

“The team has been able to reach the semi-final and that is something that is definitely good.”

Nigeria will meet Burkina Faso in Sunday’s final in Johannesburg.

Wed 6 Feb, 2013
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