Former Super Eagles player, Mutiu Adepoju, has warned the Nigeria team against complacency when the 2018 FIFA World Cup gets underway in Russia next month.
Adepoju, fondly called ‘Headmaster’ in his playing days, spoke in Lagos recently.
“I would want them to avoid complacency,” Adepoju said.
The midfielder based his advice on his experiences with the Nigeria teams to the 1994 and 1998 World Cups where the Eagles showed initial prospects but suddenly fizzled out.
“For example, at the 1994 World Cup, we played against Italy and we were leading 1-0, but the Italians came back to score, though it was through a mistake on our part. Then in the 1998 World Cup too, when we led our group and people thought we had arrived.”
For Nigeria to qualify from the group that also has Argentina, Croatia and Iceland, Adepoju emphasised on the importance of the Super Eagles’ first match, adding that their opponents are dangerous.
“The first match is going to be very important and Croatia is not a small team,” he said.
He also has some words of advice for the head coach Gernot Rohr.
“He [Rohr] should believe in what he is doing. He is doing greatly. He should correct all the mistakes he has noticed in the team as they prepare for the World Cup.”
In all, Adepoju said he has confidence in the crop of the Super Eagles players going to Russia, adding that “every team has its moment. We have very good players.”