Super Eagles Coach Jose Peseiro has confirmed that Alhassan Yusuf is still not available for the team as he prepares to lead his wards into a third group game against Guinea-Bissau at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Alhassan was taken off in the first group game against Equatorial Guinea after suffering a knock and he's gone on to miss one game, the game versus Ivory Coast and will miss the final group game.
The 23-year-old, who put up a fine display in the game before he was taken off, is currently training alone and making progress, according to the manager.
In his absence, Frank Onyeka, who featured in the second game against the hosts, is also expected to start in the role against the Djurtus.
The manager went on to add that it was important for the three-time AFCON winners to stay humble and avoid complacency as they go into their final Group A clash versus the Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau in Abidjan.
Super Eagles coach wary of Guinea-Bissau
Jose Peseiro sounded pretty cautious at the pre-match conference and the Portuguese admitted that despite winning a tougher game against the host nation, no two games are the same.
“We beat Cote d’Ivoire, it’s good for us, our confidence and what we want to achieve in this competition, The win also improve our confidence, but we also need to show more commitment and we have to respect the opponent,” he said.
He further posited that, “Guinea-Bissau have good players, they can beat any team. We have seen so many shocking results in this competition already and it is important for us to take it game by game and not think too far. We want to show better performance, show our quality, show our capacity and If we do that, no team can beat us.”
His counterpart, Baciro Cande, head coach of Guinea-Bissau, has, however, vowed to beat the Super Eagles of Nigeria in a bid to leave the competition with some pride.
He knows it is going to be a tough game but his team will do everything to have a good game against Nigeria.
“We are excited to play a good match, we have one match to close the first phase of the competition and we will do everything to have a good game against them. It will be difficult but we will do everything possible. We want to have our first AFCON win tomorrow,” he told reporters.
He further added that his team are mentally prepared to charge at the Super Eagles.
“I trust in my team, we want to have a good performance. Mentally we are strong, we are here because we are good. We had a good qualifying phase and we know it will be very difficult but we are prepared to get the win,” he reiterated.
As it stands in AFCON 2024 Group A
After two round of games, the Super Eagles occupy second position in Group A with four points from two games same as the Equatorial Guineans who sit atop the group on goal difference. Hosts Ivory Coast are third with three points from two games while Guinea-Bissau are bottom of the log with no points.
Simultaneously, Ivory Coast will tackle table leaders Equatorial Guinea at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpé for a place in the round of 16 and a draw against Guinea-Bissau will be enough to see Nigeria advance to the round of 16 in a match that will be played at the Félix Houphouët Boigny Stadium.