Ahead of the all important Nigeria, Zambia FIFA World Cup qualifier billed for the Nest of Champions in Uyo, Super Eagles Captain, Mikel John Obi says there is no room for complacency and has declared that though Nigeria have respect for 2012 AFCON winners Zambia, the total commitment to ensuring early qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals will see Nigeria wrap up the campaign next weekend.
Mikel, who has had a marvelous run in the qualifying series, playing commendable leadership role, told plusmilang.com that he is fully dedicated to the assignment of leading his teammates out to secure the sole ticket in Group B.
“I must admit that I applaud the resurgence of the Zambians this late in the qualifiers. Beating Algeria home and away is no mean feat. We will take them very serious on 7th October because they clearly have a new spirit. It is time we wrap this up.”
Speaking further on the relative smooth –run the Eagles have had in this campaign compared to earlier FIFA World Cup qualifying races, the former Chelsea FC of England midfielder pin –pointed professionalism, determination and ambition as the factors that have swung the pendulum Nigeria’s way, whilst also heaping praises on Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr.
“We have all shown professionalism, dedication and determination to be at the pole position in a group tagged ‘Group of Death. Commendations must go to the entire team and the Coach, but we must finish it up in Uyo and secure our ticket right there.”
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has told Super Eagles players to put behind them the away victory recorded against the Chipolopolo of Zambia in the first leg, urging them to ensure a comprehensive victory over the visitors next weekend.
The General Secretary of the football federation, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, told plusmilang.com in Abuja yesterday that the advance party from the federation will depart Abuja for Uyo ahead of the arrival of the players on Monday.
Asked if there is any reason for Nigerians to be apprehensive, he replied: “We don’t have any reason to be apprehensive because the way things are now, we already have upper hand against the visitors, the Chipolopolo of Zambia.”