The Portuguese coach took charge of his first competitive game as Super Eagles manager on Thursday in a 2-1 win against stubborn Sierra Leone.
Jose Peseiro said he believes his team still needs to be given more time to improve. He also authoritatively said that he can play any player that he decides after a journalist asked about his team selection.
Super Eagles came from a goal down to win the match 2-1 courtesy of a man of the match performance by Moses Simon who assisted Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen for the first and second goal respectively.
The post-match interview with Jose Peseiro
Coach what is your impression on your first win, of course in competitive game for the Super Eagles?
I am very happy because the team won. If you compare, football is strange. Against Mexico and Ecuador, our team played much better and lost.
They created five, six opportunities and lost. Today our team was better than Sierra Leone. Our team, this squad, these players can play much better, it is my opinion.
We had five or four practice sessions, some players came later. I think you need more time. I don’t feel the team is fresh, I don’t know if the coaches put too much practice in them.
Our team deserve to win, created more opportunities. Sierra Leone can score a second goal but it was clear offside but no VAR yet, we can accept but I think we created more in the second half when I changed one striker for Etebo, Sadiq for Etebo, we controlled the match more.
Only in the last ten minutes, Sierra Leone, the opponent looked fresh, pushed us, created only one opportunity.
We deserved to win this match but we can improve, we can play much better, our players have quality for that.
Congratulations on the win. My name is Mohammed Suleiman from owngoalnigeria.com. Coach should we start getting used to your team making slow starts and conceding goals early then coming back strongly. We have seen this pattern repeat itself in three games, against Mexico, Ecuador, and today against Sierra Leone. If we shouldn’t get used to that then what is happening and what do you intend to do to arrest that slow start that is slowly becoming a culture in your team.
I don’t like to concede goals but it happened. Today we could change the character, personality. We could have won 3-1 because we created two or three opportunities.
In the second half also Samuel and Lookman. We deserve the result. I don’t want to concede goals anytime, we must work more of course, I have quality but we must work more – more time, more sessions, more time with us, more meetings.
Our set pieces only watched the video, we need more time. It was good, we won 2-1. I’m happy, at the end of the game I told them in the dressing room I’m happy but our team can and must play better more.
Congratulations on the win. I have two questions. Number one, do you think we have defensive issues looking at the games we played under you. Friendly games we conceded and today here against Sierra Leone we conceded, next week we are playing against Sao Tome. Do you think we have defensive issues and if yes how are you going to fix that?
I appreciate your question because defensive issue is for everybody, not the defensive line. If you want to play two strikers or more in offensive, if you allow space at our back you must create press. The player, the opponent with the ball , he cannot see our back, he needs pressure.
Our defensive process suffered in the first half, not a problem with the center-back or defensive line. If you stay in the final position, you need pressure and avoid this pass.
Against Ecuador we could do it, today no. In the second half only in the last ten minutes the opponent could counter attack and could come into our midfield.
You started this game without a natural defensive midfielder, what prompted that decision?
I can play any player. I decide, it’s my ideas. I accept your opinion why don’t I put a 6 but If I put on a 6 without striker why don’t you put two strikers. If I ask you to give me an XI, you cannot do it for the time here.
First of all the guys with us in America started the match, only the strikers and winger in the right. I choose the players, I know better in the field. I believe in them, they can play better.
Not because you played with a number 6 or not, but because you need more time to organize the team. If you play with Aribo and Iwobi, normally they play like 8 or 10, they can improve, time to improve that is my responsibility.
We needed to control more of the game so put Etebo, take off Sadiq. Sadiq did not play bad in my opinion, only for us to control the game. We only lost that control in the last ten minutes.
Our team didn’t play well but won but when we lost against Ecuador, everybody complained, but if you see the match seven opportunities we didn’t win. What do you prefer? Win or play well and lose. I prefer both. Play well and win.
My name is Wale Mustapha, I write for Onward News 24. How severe is Troost-Ekong’s injury?
I’m not sure. We have to see in 24 hours