Team captain John Obi Mikel assures Nigeria will reach the knockout phase of the World Cup despite their unimpressive start.
Even after being defeated in the last match, Mikel Obi inspires players and Nigerians assuring they will last till the end.
Gernot Rohr’s men inspired no confidence with their poor display as they lost 2-0 to Croatia at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Saturday.
Nigeria play Iceland in Volgograd tomorrow, but the former Chelsea man insists no hope is lost yet for his side as they desperately seek to negotiate past Iceland in their second Group D tie at the Volgograd Arena.
“We have not given up hope in spite of the disappointment of that loss (to Croatia),” Mikel told media.
“We are training hard to make it out of the group. Hopefully, things will work out for us on Friday. We have enjoyed Russia so far.
“We have been able to work and train well. The training facilities, hotel and the people have been great. We hope to qualify and stay longer here so we can get to know more places in Russia.”
Meanwhile, Mikel has more or less accepted to play in a more withdrawn role should he be asked to play there today.
“Mikel has been very professional and has accepted to push back to a more withdrawn role and play as a screen for the defence against Iceland in a match we have to win,” SCORENigeria quoted a team official as saying.
“Defensive midfield is his usual position and he said if that is what the team need to be victorious in Volgograd, he will play there.”
Mikel’s No 10 role in the Eagles has been heavily criticised by his former boss at Chelsea Jose Mourinho as well as former Nigeria captain Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha.