Eagles must brace for tough games, Garba Lawal warns
• Wants Isaac Success in team
Fomer Super Eagles Midfielder, Garba Lawal, has warned the players and coaches of the senior national team to be ready for difficult encounters if they want Nigeria to be at the Russia 2018 World Cup.
Nigeria will kick off its bid to qualify for Russia 2018 on October 9 when they meet the Chipolopolo of Zambia in Ndola. Both countries failed to qualify for the Gabon 2017 African Nations Cup.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Lawal said Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the last Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) in Equatorial Guinea and the next edition in Gabon has raised doubts on the mental capacity of the players.
“Africa’s football has now become more difficult unlike in the past. Every African team seems to play football better now. Imagine we had to struggle hard before we could defeat Tanzania 1-0 in the last AFCON qualifier. But for the World Cup, it is really going to be difficult for us.
“The thing is that we have to put our house in order; our back four must be very tight. We must also pray for all our players to be injury free because we have to present all our best crop of players for these matches. Our players must play as a unit just like the Germans do when the chips are down. Playing as a team is the reason Germany has remained difficult to be beaten by any country,” he said.
On the emerging crop of players available for selection, the former Roda RC of Holland star said the upcoming stars would make the Super Eagles stronger if they are well managed.
He added: “Isaac Success is one player that I admire a lot, and now that he is with Watford FC in the English Premiership, at least everybody can now look at him closely. Personally, I watched him in some matches in last season’s La Liga; the boy is a fantastic player. And now that we have other youngsters like Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi playing for Eagles, that means that the country is making progress,” he added.