Asisat Oshoala says Nigeria senior women team won’t be a pushover at the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup in France this summer.
The Super Falcons qualified for the women’s football’s biggest showpiece as Africa champions, even though through a penalty shootout.
In spite of winning the African title for the third in a row at Ghana 2018, the Barcelona’s new signing reflects on the country’s rough path to a third successive title.
“The team has not been together properly for about two years, which has made things more difficult because we hadn’t had many proper sessions,” Oshoala told Fifa.com.
“We were just together for about two weeks prior to the tournament and it was pretty difficult. Our goal at the start was to qualify for the World Cup but we ended up winning it in the end.
“This has given us a lot of confidence going into the World Cup, ahead of our friendly games and for the team to perform better.
“I feel like that showed how much we are able to give. Just imagine the team we could have with all the right preparation.”
In exactly a year in charge, Thomas Dennerby led the team to a third-place finish at 2018 WAFU Cup, 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations success and sealed a bronze medal in January’s 2019 China Invitational Tournament.
Four months to the Mundial, the 24-year-old forward insists the Swede remains a huge asset in the country’s quest for glory in France.
“It’s not been easy for him [Thomas Dennerby], not having us together for a while,” she continued.
“Now he’s had the chance to take charge of us at a tournament, see what young players are ready to make the step up, I think he has enough time to get us ready.
“He has World Cup experience, he’s taken charge of plenty of big teams and tactically he knows the game at the top level – and the World Cup is the very best.”
The African queens are making their ninth appearance at this year’s women’s football event, but must edge hosts France, Korea Republic and Norway to the top two spots in Group A.
And the former Arsenal and Liverpool Ladies star sees the group stage challenge as a battle of giants from various continents.
“I told my team-mates that no-one that’s qualified for the World Cup is a pushover,” she said.
“They’re among the champions of their own continents. It’s champions against champions. The group is open but it’s very high quality.”