Super Eagles and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel says that the team is focused on the round of 16 match against France here in Brasilia.
“A lot of needless noise has been made over the bonus issue but it was sorted the very next day very quickly too and we resumed training,” he said at the pre-match press conference at the bowels of the Mane Garrincha Stadium.
The midfielder was an epitome of diplomacy as the gathered horde of non-Nigerian journalists wanted to focus on the bonus row and any implications for the team and the forthcoming match.
“We trust the Federation and like I had said earlier, it was all a bit of misunderstanding which has been cleared up. We are very focused on the task at hand and this will in no way affect our concentration for the match,” he said.
Another issue some of the French journalists tried to highlight was the weather especially the heat.
“Most of us play in Europe,” Mikel said of his team mates in the Super Eagles, “so we are also not used to playing in the heat every week therefore the conditions will be the same for us all.”
Mikel has been the subject of discussions among Nigerian fans who have been a bit disappointed with his displays at the World Cup so far.
Asked why his form at this tournament has been below what he showed a year ago at the Confederations Cup, he said: “This is a team game. We are more focused on the group team performance than the individual performances so I am happier that we win and progress than my own performances.”