“Nigeria Must Be Mentally Ready” — Onyeka

Super Eagles midfielder, Frank Onyeka, has warned his teammates that they must be mentally and physically prepared to take on the rest of Africa when the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in Ivory Coast next year.

The 2023 AFCON will be played in Ivory Coast between 13th of January and 11th of February, 2024.

Nigeria have been drawn alongside the host, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea, who pulled off a couple of upsets to reach the quarter-finals at the last edition in Cameroon.

The Eagles faced criticism from their supporters after drawing their opening two 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe in November but still Onyeka believes getting the fans behind the team again ahead of the tournament will boost their confidence.

He also said the team was well aware of how to win the tournament in Ivory Coast.

Eagles, three-time winners of the AFCON, exited the tournament in the last 16 in Cameroon, and Onyeka is expecting a tough assignment in their Abidjan group.

“I know our fans are frustrated because of our performance but we still need their support ahead of the AFCON,” the Brentford midfielder said.

“The draws we had in the last two games is something we need to learn from.

“African teams are not easy to play against and it’s something that we need to prepare ourselves mentally and physically for ahead of the AFCON. We know what it takes to win the AFCON.”

The Eagles last won the AFCON 10 years ago in South Africa and they defeated Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals on the way to that triumph.

Hosts Ivory Coast are gunning for a third AFCON crown after they failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Eagles were finalists when Ivory Coast last hosted the tournament 39 years ago.


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