Nigeria’s senior team stalwarts have refused to be worried about being housed in the African 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification series’ so–called group of death.
Reactions have been sharp, immediate and interesting, from NFF President Amaju Pinnick who acknowledged that this is the time to quickly sort out the issue of Head Coach and his assistants and put every other thing in place in good time for the team to have a successful outing during the qualifiers.
Even, the players themselves have come out to express confidence that the Super Eagles can earn a third straight FIFA World Cup ticket despite the challenge of Algeria, Zambia and Cameroun in Group B.
“This is not a bad draw. I believe the Super Eagles are equal to the task. All we need to do now is to start planning from this very moment. We have to get our coach in place and give him, whether white or black, a very conducive environment to work. I am confident that by the grace of God we will qualify.
“We will give our 100% in every game and try to win whether home or away. Every match must be taken as a matter of life and death,” said Ogenyi Onazi.
Reacting to the draw, William Troost-Ekong stated that the team has quality players that can qualify Nigeria for Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“I think it’s a tough draw, but I never imagined we were going to get any easy opponents on the way to 2018 World Cup. I believe that we can do it. If we can put everything in place structurally for all members of staff and players to focus on just the games, together with the support of our nation we will be successful,” he said.
Brown Ideye further revealed that at this stage of the competition, tough groups were expected and Nigeria cannot feign ignorant of that.
“At this stage of football, tough groups like the type we have found ourselves are to be expected. To get to the World Cup, we cannot cut corners or relax or take things for granted.
“The World Cup is the biggest football stage where you meet the best of the best, so getting there will be tough. Now, we have to be prepared to work hard. If we work hard together as a team we will win matches and if we win our games we will qualify.
“The media have to be involved in this as well. They have a huge role to play in motivating and psyching our team to do well. Everything is in our hands, we must plan well and ensure our house is in order. I believe we will qualify,” he said.
However, interim Head Coach, Salisu Yusuf, is of the opinion that the Super Eagles are pitched in a difficult pool, but with commitment, determination and motivation, they will scale these hurdles and qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Technical Adviser, Rangers International FC of Enugu, Imama Amapakabo, says that only adequate preparation can make Nigeria to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia from Group B.
Amapakabo said on Sunday that in spite of the group having the best in African football; Nigeria could beat their opponents with adequate preparation.
He harped on the need for consistency by the national team with the coaches given long term contracts to study and perfect the players to their pattern of play.
“The national team is like other premier league clubs because it’s made up of people of the different geographical areas of the country and they need blending.
“We need to start preparation on time to ensure that the players get used to the coaches’ tactics and also for them to understand themselves in the field of play.
“Nigerians are clamouring for a formidable national team but it cannot be built if not through friendly matches and consistency,” he said.
He added that the country had good players who could stand out in time of difficulties but noted that “a tree cannot make a forest”.