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Why I Hope Super Eagles Win AFCON 2023, But I Don’t Expect It –George Abbey

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Former Super Eagles defender, George Abbey, has told Completesports.com that he lives in hope rather than expectation as regards Nigeria's chances of winning the AFCON title for the fourth time at Cote d'Ivoire 2023 which starts on January 13 and ends on February 11, 2024.


Abbey reasons that recent results and the way Super Eagles play do not give him the confidence of a team capable of winning the AFCON in Cote d'Ivoire but being a Nigerian, he only hopes that the team wins it.


[caption id="attachment_371223" align="alignnone" width="400"] George Abbey[/caption]


According to the former Sharks FC of Port Harcourt and Macclesfield of England defender, this is one AFCON that the Super Eagles will attend without a real contender tag.


Also Read - AFCON 2023: S/Eagles Friendlies Against Burkina Faso, Cape Verde Cancelled, To Now Play Guinea


Abbey insists that current Nigeria's senior men's football team has lost that fear factor that used to make it the favourites at every previous AFCON tournament.


"Building up to this AFCON, the Super Eagles' performances in recent matches don't give one the confidence of a team going to win the trophy but being Nigerians, we are hopeful we can win it for the fourth time. I will be happy if we win, but I am not optimistic they will win," Abbey told Completesports.com.


"I think when those of us Nigerian fans speak, we speak with hope rather than expectation. The same way Manchester United fans feel they must win because they are Manchester United, the same way Nigerian fans feel. After all, we are Super Eagles - we must win. We are not realistic that recent results suggest otherwise.


"We don't look at the resume of the coach, his background, what is the hope and confidence of the team. Every team goes into the tournament thinking they can win the cup and what it takes is to go there win one or two matches or win one and draw two, you are in round two, then with luck, you are in the semi-finals and confidence level increases and you are a potential champion.


"The same way people are saying we don't trust this our goalkeeper, he might just go there and become the goalkeeper of the tournament. That is how rapidly things can change in today's football. Uzoho has been underwhelming in recent matches, but do we have a better choice?


Also Read - AFCON 2023: Mikel Tips ‘Energetic Striker’ Osimhen To Win MVP


"Our defence is of real concern to me because we are not keeping clean sheets, we are not solid enough at the back. I hope the coaching crew can find a way to make us more solid at the back. I am confident we can create chances upfront and get the goals we need to win games.


Abbey added: "Can we win AFCON 2023? If you ask me, I will say yes we can, hopefully. I am not expecting us to win this AFCON. I hope we win because we are all Nigerian fans - we want our country to do well. We have the quality up front scoring goals but the question is can we stop them on the other end? If we can find that solution then we have every chance to go all the way and win the cup."


Abbey, a 2004 AFCON bronze medalist also tips Senegal as the hot favourites to win the tournament in Cote d'Ivoire because of the quality the Teranga Lions have.


"Senegal and host Cote d'Ivoire have the quality and support to win the AFCON. The Teranga Lions have players in top clubs all over the world and they have coaching stability to retain the cup they won in Cameroon in 2021. Cote d'Ivoire as host also has quality players and massive home support. Egypt would have been a contender but the over-reliance on Mo Salah will not help their course. I don't see Morocco and Algeria winning the AFCON 2023," George concluded.


The Super Eagles kick off their AFCON 2023 journey, with Group A matchday-one action against Equatorial Guinea on Sunday, January 14 at the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe, Abidjan. Following this, a showdown with host nation Cote d’Ivoire awaits on Thursday, January 18, and they'll wrap up the group stage against Guinea-Bissau on Monday, January 22 at Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, also in Abidjan.


By Richard Jideaka, Abuja.


The post Why I Hope Super Eagles Win AFCON 2023, But I Don’t Expect It –George Abbey appeared first on Complete Sports.

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