2016 Olympics: Nigeria need to improve despite win - Siasia

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Nigeria under-23 coach Samson Siasia
Nigeria under-23 coach Samson Siasia has lead his team to the Olympics in Rio next year

Nigeria coach Samson Siasia has urged his players not to rest on their laurels after their Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations success.

Despite the success Siasia does not feel his side were at their best.

"We are happy we've won a very difficult tournament but there's a lot of work to be done between now and August," he told BBC Sport.

"I wasn't even sure we could make it to the final but through hard work and intense discussions after every game ensured the boys corrected their mistakes - we came out victorious.

"There can be no substitute for hard work, concentration, serious focus and that's what we're going to do.

"If you don't get it right, you're in trouble at a major tournament like the Olympics. We still have a lot of tidying up to do over all.

"I have to thank the players for what they have done but they should not let it get to their heads because we need to correct our mistakes and improve our game before the Olympics."

Even though Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, after crashing out in the group stages of the maiden African Under-23 Championship in Morocco in 2011, they boast a proud record at The Games.

They made Olympic football history in 1996 by becoming the first African team to win the gold medal and were also runners-up at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when Siasia also coached the side.

Meanwhile, Nigeria and runners-up Algeria alongside South Africa will represent Africa at Rio 2016 Olympics, all of the qualifiers will be allowed to include three players over 23 in their final squad for the Gamesa.

It is the first time that both the South Africa men's and women's football teams have qualified for an Olympics.