Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) general-secretary, Dr Sanusi Mohammed has added his voice to reactions trailing the Super Eagles’ 1-0 loss to Czech Republic on Wednesday, but opined that it was only because the players tried to avoid injuries in the game.
Sanusi reasoned that it would have been a better result against the Czech side, and even versus England last Saturday, had it been a competitive setting for the Eagles, as he insists they would be more committed when the World Cup begins.
The former head of NFF’s competition department added that he is optimistic that the Eagles will respond well at the World Cup in Russia despite back-to-back losses to England and Czech Republic.
He then pleaded with Nigerians not to rate the Eagles with the outcome of the friendly games against England and Czech Republic, as he argued that such games are an entirely different scenario compared to competitive matches.
Sanusi, who added that the football federation is trying to develop a playing pattern that will be common to all the national teams, said the NFF are not worried by the Eagles’ chain of defeats.
Wednesday’s match came 10 days before the Eagles kick-off their Russia 2018 campaign against Croatia next Saturday, 16th June, starting 8pm local time, and Sanusi says there is no cause for alarm over their chances for victory.
The NFF scribe declared: “We are not worried by these defeats suffered in friendly games. These are friendly games and they are meant to try new tactics and blend the team.
“The results don’t really matter because I know our boys were not at their best. There is no cause for alarm; the Super Eagles will bounce back.
“You know the boys are not giving their best because they don’t want to sustain injury before the start of the World Cup.
“They are playing safe and I am sure they will go full blast when they face Croatia next week.
“Our players are being extremely careful not to get injuries that would rule them out of the World Cup.
“The players are not putting in the very best they have but are playing to make sure they understand themselves.
“We sat down and looked at areas where we have not been doing well in terms of preparations for the team and we decided to improve.
“The NFF have done their part in preparing the team for the World Cup, it is now left for them to reciprocate the gesture by getting results in Russia. Nigerians should believe that the team will deliver in Russia.”