'I'm confident in all of them' - Super Eagles coach Peseiro responds to frequent change of players at CBPublished: September 11, 2023
Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro has insisted that he has the right mix of players in the Super Eagles' center-back positions.
The Portuguese used four different defensive partnerships during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, making it seem like he does not have a pecking order of centre-backs.
Peseiro deployed centre-back partnerships of William Troost-Ekong x Semi Ajayi, Calvin Bassey x Semi Ajayi, Calvin Bassey x Kevin Akpoguma and Semi Ajayi x Kenneth Omeruo during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Not taking into account the matches against the fifth lowest ranked African team, Sao Tome and Principe, the Super Eagles have struggled to impress at the heart of defence with one clean sheet in eight games since the appointment of Peseiro as coach.
Defending his frequent change of players in the centre-back positions, Peseiro underlined that defending is a collective effort involving the entire team and he has faith in his central defensive options.
"The defensive process of the team, our team needs to defend together, collectively. Today I told them if they don't defend well, you don't play well," Peseiro said at Sunday evening's post-match press conference.
"I had to change one centre-back. Sometimes I don't play some players. I believe in them, I believe in our centre-backs. I checked Jordan in training but didn't in the match.
"I am confident in all of them, not only defenders, the team. To defend well is first my responsibility, second from the team, because the strikers like today pressured the opponent."
The Super Eagles are back in action in November when they face Lesotho and Zimbabwe in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
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