Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has said that he is not afraid of facing any of the continent’s major teams when the draw is held for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday in South Africa.
The Super Eagles are placed in Pot 2 and will be facing one of continental giants Cote D’Ivoire or Ghana, the top seeds for the competition. Hosts South Africa and defending champions Zambia are also in Pot 1.
“We are not afraid of any team, anybody that comes that’s fine with me,” Keshi told Goal.com ahead of his trip to Johannesburg for the draw.
The coach said that he will be planning for the tournament once the opponents in the group stages are unveiled in the anticipated draw to be held by Caf and the local organising committee.
“We will plan our strategy for our opponents once we know who we will play against,” he said.
Nigeria return to the Nations Cup after missing out on the 2012 edition hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea following their 8-3 aggregate defeat of Liberia.
Many fans are already talking about a revival in fortunes for the Super Eagles after their 6-1 victory in Calabar a fortnight ago, the highest score margin that the Nigerians have had in almost two decades. It is re-echoing a period of domination held by the national team when they last won the African title and qualified for their first World Cup.
But the coach still thinks that this is premature and will still be tinkering with his team by inviting new players into the squad ahead of January’s tournament. West Bromwich’s Peter Odemwingie, Everton’s Victor Anichebe and Levante’s Obafemi Martins are some of the players that could be making a return to the side in the nearest future.
“We’re still building and nobody is excluded from my team. I’ll give opportunity to any of those guys to play,” Keshi concluded.