NIGERIA U20 head coach, Manu Garba has said he would not miss Kelechi Iheanacho and Isaac Success as his team begins their outing at the 2015 African Youth Championship yesterday.
Iheanacho missed out of the team owing to injury while Granada refused to release Success as they battle against relegation in the Spanish topflight.
The Flying Eagles take on hosts, Senegal in the competition’s opening game at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in Dakar and the former U17 handler is hoping for a win against the Junior Teranga Lions.
“The first match is as important as the final. Like they always say, a journey of 1000-miles begins with one step. So winning will help us go all the way. When you lose, it becomes a bit of a struggle in the remaining games,” Manu told
“ are very confident. We won’t underrate any opponent. We will do all it takes to achieve our target. We are a team with a good record as far as first matches at major tournaments are concerned
“At the African U17 Championship in Morocco in 2013, we beat Ghana 6-1 in the opening match. Later, at the Fifa U17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates we beat Mexico 6-1 in the opening match as well. The first match is what matters at the moment,” he continued.
One the absence of his reliable, Manu said he is not bothered as he has several options in his squad to get him the result.
“Isaac Success was not released by his club, Granada who are fighting relegation in the Spanish La Liga. Kelechi Iheanacho is not fully fit since he just recovered from an injury,” he added.
“ Musa Yahaya also suffered an injury during our training camp in Ghana. We are not bothered by their absence.
“We have the players that can force out any result. We are here for business. We have bulk of the squad that won the Fifa U17 World Cup in United Arab Emirates last year. We have an enterprising squad that can all the way and win the tournament,” he concluded.