Super Eagles: Fake news, family pressure dampen players morale – Peseiro 

HEAD coach of Nigeria’s senior men’s football team, Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro has identified fake news and pressure from family as the bane of the players’ mental and emotional wellbeing.

Peseiro who won a silver medal with the Super Eagles at the recent 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) held in Cote dIvoire revealed this in an interview.

Asked how he manages the players when faced with criticism, he said: “Yes, by talking to them and telling them not to pay too much attention to it.

“There is often fake news coming from our country and I don’t know why. And to this is added the pressure that their own family puts on them. It is our role, with all my staff, to put them at ease and encourage them not to give importance to what is being said.”

He, however, admitted that praises heaped on the players could also distract them, noting that mental trainers and coaching crew played their role in balancing the players’ status.

“And it’s not just criticism that can be dangerous. When people praise you and congratulate you, you can also lose your ground. You are in the clouds and you think you are too beautiful and that is also the best way to fall.




     

     

    “You have to find the right balance and it’s not easy in football, especially for young players who have never set foot in Africa. Mental trainers are also there for that. And we, the coaches, protect them from that, by saying ‘only listen to us.’ And my staff helped me a lot.”

    Relishing the players’ performance at the 2023 AFCON final against Cote d’Ivoire, he blamed the loss in the final on the players’ lack of experience.

    “I’m sure if another final was played a week later, we would have won it. Because many players have never had the experience of an AFCON final. 14 of our players have never played in an AFCON final phase.

    “While the Ivorians had experienced players. We tried to play down the event, trying to forget the pressure and the responsibilities that weighed on our shoulders, but it wasn’t enough,” he said.

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