Finidi says Nigeria will bounce back as winless streak continues

football08 June 2024 13:00| © AFP
article image
Finidi George © Gallo Images

Nigeria coach Finidi George has expressed confidence his team will bounce back to top form in 2026 World Cup qualifying after they extended their winless streak to three matches.

Nigeria are yet to win in the World Cup qualifiers after they could only force another 1-1 draw at home against South Africa on Friday in the southern Nigerian town of Uyo.

They are now fifth out of six teams in Group C, having accumulated just three points from as many matches.

Lesotho lead the section with five points, one point ahead of Rwanda and Benin, while South Africa sit fourth and Zimbabwe are bottom with two points.

Finidi said even though his team dropped two vital points at home against main rivals South Africa, they are capable of getting their qualifying campaign back on course.

"I am not shaken, I am relaxed, we know what is at stake, we know we have to qualify (for the World Cup), but that does not mean we have to run helter skelter because of the draw," the 53-year-old said.

"We dropped points and that should not break us, a positive result will change the narrative.

"It is not the best result we wanted, we have to get our heads up and work for the next game (Benin)."

Former Nigerian international winger Finidi was handed the reins on a permanent basis in April following Nigeria's defeat in the Africa Cup of Nations final and poor start to World Cup qualifying.

Finidi spent 20 months as assistant to Jose Peseiro before the Portuguese coach departed after Nigeria lost the Afcon decider 2-1 to hosts Ivory Coast in February.

The Super Eagles will take on Benin in Abidjan on Monday as they seek to kick their World Cup qualifying campaign into gear before it breaks until March 2025.