Nduka Ugbade has said his players gave their all and does not fault them following their 2-1 defeat to Burkina Faso in the quarter-finals of the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Algiers on Thursday.
Nigeria’s hope of a third title and qualification to the FIFA World Cup was thwarted following the defeat, and Ugbade has now been left to pick the pieces of their broken hearts.
“The players are disappointed of course because they are young but we must support them because they need to continue their careers.
“We should work on their development because I believe that some of these players will eventually move to the senior national team,” the tactician said after the defeat to Burkina Faso.
He adds; “I am happy with the performance of our players and in such competitions, even if you lose, you gain something by developing the players for the future.”
Looking back at the defeat to Burkina Faso, Ugbade says they would have had a different result were they more clinical in front of the goal.
“Everything worked as we had planned, but we could not score with the chances we had. We paid dearly for that. We learn the lessons and move on,” he said.
The tactician believes that the defeat will work to strengthen the mentality of the players, backing them to bounce back in future age categories