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Football | Nigeria

Mali tougher than Nigeria - Keshi

Head coach of the Nigerian national team, Stephen Keshi has attempted to draw parallels between his current job and his time at the helm of the Mali national team.

Keshi coached Mali’s Eagles between 2008 and 2010 and believes the pressure of holding the reins has not been matched since he took charge of the Nigerian national team.

“When people talk to me about pressure, I smile because the pressure (when I was coach of) Mali is probably worse than I experienced in Nigeria,” Keshi told supersport.com.

The former Nigerian captain further explained that the "biggest pressure" he faces is to ensure players of the national team remain at the peak of their powers.

“I am doing my job. I don’t think about pressure. If you want to excel, you must be ready to deal with pressure. The pressure is there but I try to shield my players from it.

"The biggest pressure I face is to see that my players are in good shape,” he said.

Keshi will lead his wards out to battle on Thursday morning against Venezuela in Miami in Nigeria’s first game following qualification for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

Thursday’s game will be played at the Marlins Stadium in Miami from 8pm (Miami time) and from 2am on Thursday (Nigerian time).

The game is also live on your World of Champions, SuperSport 3N from 1:55am. < /p>


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