My players will deliver against Banyana –Waldrum

Super Falcons coach, Randy Waldrum, says he is not thinking about the fuss surrounding the early arrival of Banyana Banyana in Nigeria for the Olympic qualifier but instead focused on getting his side ready for the all-important clash, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Nigeria and South Africa, arguably the two best women’s football squads on the African continent, will face off in a two-legged affair as they battle for one of the two tickets from Africa for the Paris 2024 Olympics women’s football event.

The first of two matches will take place Friday at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja followed by the second contest Tuesday, April 9 in Pretoria, South Africa.

The Banyana arrived Abuja on Sunday raising concerns among some Nigerian fans.

Reacting to the worries of Nigerians, the American tactician said he was focused on his team.

“My thought about the South African team is that they are a very good side and they are the women’s champions and we have to have respect for them.

“I will guess some of their players are probably not here yet, though the majority of the team may be here already and I think it is smart to come in here early and train here but we can’t really worry about what they are doing.

“We have to just focus and concentrate on the task that we have and that is to make sure that our players are prepared for their responsibilities for the Friday match,” Waldrum told The NFF TV.

Nigeria is looking to make a return to the Olympics after a 16-year absence.

The winners of the two-match qualifiers automatically receive a 2024 Olympic bid for Paris and Waldrum expressed confidence in his side.

“They have individual talent and upfront they are very dangerous and the coach has done a very good job. But as I said before the World Cup and I am saying it again, I really like our team and I have all the confidence that our players will perform really well,” he said.

On the injuries that ruled out duo Tosin Demehin and Ashleigh Plumptre out of the qualifiers, Waldrum added, “Our thoughts and prayers are with those two players, they are both valued and important players to us. They are two mainstays in defence and it is a big loss not to have those two.

“My first thought and concern is getting them healthy and ensuring they are going to be okay but I think as a coach you must always have a Plan B and we’ve been working on those plans. Think we have players who are ready to step in and do the job for us. I think I have confidence in the depth of the squad and I believe they can come in and do the job for us.”

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