Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel has backed young goalkeeper Francis Uzoho to have a great experience at the 2018 Fifa World Cup.
Uzoho who made his international debut against Argentina in November 2017, has displaced Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi to become the Super Eagles’ first-choice goalkeeper.
The younsgter made just two appearances with Deportivo La Coruna in LaLiga but featured majorly in the third tier of the Spanish League with their B side, amassing 26 appearances..
Despite questions about the 19-year-old’s experience, Mikel is pleased with the shot-stopper’s calmness and said that the team will continue to lend a helping hand to put him off pressure during games.
“He’s a very young goalkeeper. I think the good thing about him is that he’s always very calm. It’s good for us, it’s good for him. He knows how to deal with pressure, he has a lot of responsibility, but we try to help him as much as we can,” Mikel told the media.
“I try to talk to him during the game, but it’s important for us to let him do his job, he knows exactly what he’s doing. I try to talk to him to keep him calm. We hope he will have a great tournament.”
Ahead of Saturday’s World Cup opener against Croatia, Gernot Rohr’s men recorded three losses and a win in their last five tune-up games.
But the Tianjin Teda ace remains optimistic of their chances to stun the world in Russia.
“Preparation with the friendlies didn’t go as planned. We wanted to try new things, new players, new formations,” he continued.
“We know what we did during the friendlies, but now is the time for the tournament. We have to focus, we have to switch back on the way we played coming to the World cup.
“If we can play the way we know, control the game, be aggressive, we have a great chance. The young players want to show the world what they can do.”