Nigeria need self-belief to qualify for a third consecutive World Cup finals, despite not being one of the top seeds at Friday’s third round qualifying draw, the team’s caretaker coach Salisu Yusuf has said.
Salisu Yusuf’s side were on Friday grouped alongside Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia.
The Super Eagles — three times African champions — failed to make the last Africa Cup of Nations and also crashed out of qualifying for next year’s finals.
But the caretaker coach said with the right attitude, his players can overcome the challenge.
“We may not be one of the top seeds for the qualifiers but that does not mean we are not good enough to qualify for the World Cup,” he told AfricanFootball.com.
“Players needed to forget the AFCON disappointment,” he said, assessing there was enough to indicate Nigeria have “the quality and a bright future” to build on.
Yusuf, 54, led Nigeria in recent friendly wins against Mali and Luxembourg and has staked his claim on the job on a permanent basis.
Nigerian football is in desperate need of a boost after the recent sudden deaths of former coaches Stephen Keshi and Shuaibu Amodu earlier this month.
Yusuf said his crop of young players were keen to prove the critics wrong and get to the World Cup finals in two years’ time.
Nigeria have played six times in the finals and reached the knockout stages on three occasions.