Super Eagles stars have insisted that they are capable of reaching the Russia 2018 World Cup despite being drawn in the African 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers ‘group of death’.
Nigeria will face Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia for the only World Cup ticket available to Group B.
Interim head coach Salisu Yusuf said in a Nigeria Football Federation release: “Without any doubt, this is a tough draw but with commitment, determination and motivation, the Super Eagles will scale these hurdles and qualify for the 2018 World Cup.”
Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi added: “This is not a bad draw. I believe the Super Eagles are equal to the task.
All we need to do now is to start planning from this very moment. We have to get our coach in place and give him, whether white or black, a very conducive environment to work.
“I am confident that by the grace of God we will qualify. We will give our 100% in every game and try to win whether home or away. Every match must be taken as a matter of life and death.”
Mainz defender Leon Balogun sounded confident. He said: “Far from easy, but it’s the hard road that leads to success. Let’s take this opportunity and earn our spot.”
Centre-back William Troost Ekong added: “I think it’s a tough draw, but I never imagined we were going to get any easy opponents on the way to 2018 World Cup. I believe that we can do it. If we can put everything in place structurally for all members of staff and players to focus on just the games, together with the support of our nation we will be successful.”
Monaco left-back Elderson Echiejile said: “It is not an easy group, I must say, but we have all what it takes to finish top of that group and I believe we can. We have to start preparing NOW (put everything in proper place). It is never too early to start preparing for such matches. We are the Super Eagles.”
Olympiakos striker Brown Ideye, who recently returned to the Nigeria set-up, added: “At this stage of football, tough groups like the type we have found ourselves are to be expected. To get to the World Cup, we cannot cut corners or relax or take things for granted.
“The World Cup is the biggest football stage where you meet the best of the best, so getting there will be tough. Now, we have to be prepared to work hard. If we work hard together as a team we will win matches and if we win our games we will qualify. The media have to be involved in this as well. They (media) have a huge role to play in motivating and psyching our team to do well. Everything is in our hands, we must plan well and ensure our house is in order. I believe we will qualify.”
Vice-captain Ahmed Musa said: “This is a very good group. All I will say for now is that we will do our best to qualify.”