Eagles ‘will fly in Brazil’ despite winless friendly games

Eagles ‘will fly in Brazil’ despite winless friendly games
June 05
18:07 2014

Atlanta 1996 Olympics gold medalist, Emmanuel Babayaro, on Thursday said that the Super Eagles would progress beyond the World Cup group stage, despite the outcome of their friendly matches .

The team drew their last three games against Mexico (0-0), Scotland (2-2) and Greece (0-0), but Babayaro has implored Nigerians to be unruffled by the results, saying that warm-up matches are for coaches to assess their tactics and identify areas needing improvement.

He said that regardless of the impressive run of the Eagles’ group opponent, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in their friendly matches, Nigerians should remain confident the Eagles would soar in Brazil.

“So far, we’ve been relatively successful in our build up to the World Cup and I’m optimistic that the Eagles will advance beyond the group stage,” he told NAN.

“Frankly speaking, we should be less worried about results of friendly matches because it isn’t a yardstick for how well a team will perform in the tournament.

“I could recall we got very poor results when we were preparing for the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, but we went there and won the gold in football. And again, a lot of players want to avoid sustaining injuries and want to play safe in a friendly match.”

While analysing the team, the former goalkeeper, said he was convinced of the capability of Eagles’ first choice goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, to perform well in Brazil.

Babayaro also expressed satisfaction with the team’s attacking ability in creating chances, but emphasised the need for converting the chances into goals.

“Enyeama is the brightest hope I have in the team,” he said.

“He has the capacity to perform at the highest level and I’m certain he’ll be crucial to the team. The attack is also good, but they must improve on executing the chances they create. The midfield, I think, is okay.”

Super Eagles will kick-off their World Cup campaign against Iran on June 16, at the Arena da Baixada, Curitiba, Brazil.


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