Super Falcons psychologist Kasia Muoto has said Mali will not serve as benchmark for the reigning African champions.
On Friday in Abuja the Falcons edged West African opponents Mali for a place at the upcoming All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville.
Both sides will contest the 2016 Rio Olympics ticket in a two-legged encounter commencing on May 9.
Muoto said the seven-time African champions are still a work in progress with regards to the side’s Olympics, World Cup and other engagements.
“Mali is not definitely the benchmark of the quality of opposition the Super Falcons will confront at the upcoming Fifa Women’s World Cup in Canada.
“There is lots of conditioning and mental work to be done to make the side perfect ahead of the World Cup competition.
“Even in the 8-0 demolition of the Malians in the All Africa Games qualifier we saw lots of flaws which a stronger side can ably leverage on to make nonsense of their effort.
“We believe that Mali have a lot to prove in the Olympic qualifying match next month because it’s certain to be a different ball game when both sides clash for a spot at the Olympics.
“That’s why we’ve repeatedly reminded them not to be too complacent or confident as Mali are capable of springing up surprises.
“So my work with the side is not a one off thing, rather a round the clock exercise. We’re done with the All Africa Games we’ll move on to the Olympics then the World Cup.
“I’ll start one-on-one sessions with the players aimed at correcting some age long misconception and wrong perception of things.
“I understand the psyche is not in the right place. I’m going to correct the loose ends to instill self-belief in them especially as we prepare for the World Cup where they’ll confront the likes of former world champions, USA, Sweden and Australia.
“We’ll work very quickly to demystify the person to person fear complex and culture so that they’ll see reality exactly as it is.
“So we must rise above the Malis or similar challenges in order to get it right at the world,” said Muoto to supersport.com.
The Nigerian women’s national team mental conditioning and performance coach’s first assignment with the Falcons was the AAG qualifying match 8-0 demolition of Mali on Friday in Abuja.