It is now time for serious business. Super Eagles players and their officials will this morning have their first full training session at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in preparation for Saturday’s crucial Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Zambia.
The Zambians have been all over the airwaves boasting how they will shoot down the Super Eagles in Uyo on Saturday. But Super Eagles’ Captain, John Obi Mikel yesterday dismissed the Chipolopolo’s tough talk as mere dreams, which have no place in Uyo on Saturday.
Although he praised the Chipolopolo for their recent heroics, he said it was rather too late for then to start dreaming of upsetting Nigeria.He told the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) official website, “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 because they clearly have a new spirit. It is time we wrap this up.“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.”
Super Eagles’ players and officials started arriving in Uyo on Sunday, but majority of them came in yesterday to get ready for today’s kick off of the preparation for the game they must win to secure their passage to Russia.
As at yesterday morning, only six players were in the team’s Le Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo camp, but the squad swelled in the evening with 12 more players arriving from Abuja. Among the early birds in Uyo were Hapoel Beer Sheva duo, Anthony Nwakaeme and John Ogu, goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Ajiboye, Turkey-based Elderson Echiejile and Portugal-based Oghenekaro Etebo.
Leon Balogun, Odion Ighalo, William Troost-Ekong, Daniel Akpeyi, Wilfred Ndidi and Mikel Agu arrived later in the evening.FC Ifeanyi Ubah’s winger, Prince Aggreh was the surprise member of a group that trained in the gym yesterday. It was not clear yesterday if the dazzling winger was added to the original squad by the coaches.Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, who is expected to join the rest of the squad this morning, will train with his team mates for the first time this evening.