Nigerians on Sunday expressed optimism that the Eagles will win the remaining matches in Group D.NAN reports that the Super Eagles lost 2-0 to Croatia in their maiden match in the group.Other countries in the group Argentina and Iceland.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria will face Iceland on June 22 and play their last group D game against Argentina on June 26.
Mr Layi Adesiyan, the Director of Sports, Youths and Special Needs in Osun State, says Super Eagles can win the remaining matches in their group.
Adesiyan told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday that Super Eagles needed to focus on other matches.
Super Eagles lost 2-0 to Croatia in their maiden match in the group D.
He said that the technical crew should immediately start to prepare for the remaining games.
“We should not start to blame players and coach for the loss by now, rather we should be thinking about what to do to encourage the team.
“The technical crew needs to work more in all the departments of the team; the goalkeepers, the midfielders, the attackers and the defenders.
“Each player should be given the appropriate responsibility and by now the coach should know what department each player belongs.
“The coach needs to be apt in ensuring necessary substitution where he notices a gap. We can’t just come home without wining any team in our group stage,’’ Adesiyan said.
Also speaking, Godfrey Gaiya, former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Sports on Sunday advised Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Gernot Rohr, to go back to the players used for the World Cup qualification.
Gaiya told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the performance of the Super Eagles was expected.
Reacting to the 2-0 defeat of the Eagles, Gaiya said the team was a work in progress.
NAN reports that in the match played in Kaliningrad, the Eagles lost through an own goal by Oghenekaro Etebo
and a Luka Modric penalty kick.
He advised the head coach to go back to players used to gain the World Cup qualification.
“For now, there is nothing we can do to remedy the situation, let us make this change to avoid further embarrassment.
According to him, the outcome is what most of us saw coming.
” I am an active supporter of the national team but I did not go to Russia with the team because in spite of their
preparations, the team don’t have quality that can compete at that level.
“Basically we have an assembly of average young players that are struggle in their various clubs and I don’t think that
the world cup is an avenue for such players to be throw into in the mix of teams like Argentina, Iceland and Croatia.
” I thoughts we could have depended more on players that we can trust not introducing very young players at the
dying minute of the preparations.
“You can see that there are about four or five players that came in long after we have qualify for the tournament.
“And these players are coming in from clubs that were never using them, who will have say that Francis Uzoho will
be the one keeping when he has never tested such completion.
“We were not expecting this team for the World Cup, the team is a team for the future and not for this world cup.
“The team is a work in progress, it a team that if we allowed them to stay together in the next two to four
years they can do well,” he said.
But the Enugu chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), said lack of cohesion among individual
players brought painful loss to the Super Eagles in the ongoing World Cup.
The Chairman of SWAN Enugu Chapter, Norbert Okoli, told NAN that lack of cohesion denied the team the needed
“hard bite” against the Croatians in the beginning.“It is a painful loss not only to the Super Eagles, but to Nigerians and the continent of Africa.
“We prepared very well but it is unfortunate that we started with this disappointing first match,’’ he said.Okoli, however, said that he still believe on the ability of the Super Eagles to make Nigerians proud in the ongoing football fiesta.
“I call on Nigerians to still believe in the team and put the disappointing start behind them.“I want all Nigerians to dream positively, act, say and pray for the team to bounces back,’’ he advised.