Nigeria’s former inter-national, Mutiu Adepoju, said the battle to make the Russia 2018 World Cup 23-man final list will propel the Super Eagles players to approach the friendly against Congo with the right mentality.
Speaking to newsmen on telephone yesterday, the former Eagles’ wing wizard argued that though every friendly is crucial to the players ahead of the soccer Mundial, it would be wrong to rate the Eagles’ preparedness with the Congo friendly.
Headmaster, as he is fondly called argued that there was no surprise inclusion in the 30-man provisional team-list apart from the domestic league players, challenging Junior Lokosa to put in his best and pick a shirt in the final team-list.
Asked the importance Nigerians should attach to the Congo friendly, Adepoju said: “We all know how important any friendly means to the Super Eagles now that they are preparing for the World Cup.
“I strongly believe that the friendly will go a long way in strengthening the team for the task ahead in Russia.
“Ordinarily, we should not rate the Super Eagles preparedness for the Russia tournament with the outcome of the friendly game, but the fact is that it is a very important build up game for the World Cup,” he said.
On how much stake the match is to the players, Adepoju said: “The players should know that everything is at stake for, especially as the friendly would decide their fate for the final team list.
“They must go extra mile to impress Nigerians. I am sure that they are aware that everything is needed to justify their inclusion first in the 30-man list. I have no doubt that they will deploy everything at their disposal to make the final 23-man World Cup list,” he said.