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Football | Nigeria

Ubido tasks Eagles

Heartland defensive midfielder, Julius Ubido has charged the side to give Nigerians a special New Year gift by beating the Catalonian selected in Wednesday's friendly in Spain.

The friendly encounter will serve as build-up match for the Eagles' 2013 Africa Cup of Nations campaign in South Africa.

Ubido said the national colour should spur the Stephen Keshi-tutored side to overcome the expected tough challenge from the Catalonians.

"Of course, the players know what is at stake and can't afford to start the year on a losing note.

"The greatest gift Nigerians expect at the start of the New Year is emphatic victory which will go a long way to prepare their minds on what to expect at the Afcon in South Africa.

"They should be able to prove themselves worthy of the national colour they put on.

"The Catalonian challenge will be tough as each player is in his best form but on the field of play it will be 11-11, so the Eagles won't have any reason to disappoint," said the Heartland midfielder to supersport.com.

Ubido believes the Eagles have what it takes to grab their third African title in South Africa.

"The Eagles are capable of winning their third title in South Africa if they can put their mind and body into the game.

"The first game against Burkina Faso is crucial, a win will boost their confidence going into the next matches.

"No team in their group look to me a cheap side, so they must not underrate any opposition but go into each game with a mind to win," said the former Lobi Stars' midfield maestro.

Nigeria are in Group C with Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Cup holders, Zambia.

The Eagles return from the Catalonian tie to head to Nelspruit, South Africa venue of their first two games against West African foes, Burkina Faso and Zambia.


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