AS Monaco defender Elderson Echiejile has warned the Home Eagles not to be complacent when they take on the Mena of Niger in their opening group game at the African Nations Championship.
Echiejile admitted despite having a superior record against the Nigeriens, Nigeria must make a bold statement by starting the tournament with a win.
“Our league is growing well and that is evident in the way we have been playing under our Oliseh,” Echiejile told Completesportsnigeria.com.
“But they must not be complacent in their approach against Niger.”
Coach Sunday Oliseh earned his first win against Niger in a friendly last year and Echiejile warns the Home Eagles will face a different opposition in Kigali.
“It was a friendly which we won 2-0 and most of the players in that team are not in Kigali so it’s a different ball game entirely now,” he added.
“They must be prepared to battle their way to glory.”
Also, Super Eagles keeper Carl Ikeme has sent his best wishes to the home-based Eagles ahead of their game against Niger Republic at the on-going Championship for African Nations.
The home-based Eagles will take on Niger in Group C inside the Stade Regional de Nyamirambo.
Commenting ahead of the game, Ikeme called on divine intervention in order for the Eagles to win.
“Good luck to my fellow Super Eagles for the opening CHAN game this evening, may God guide us to victory,” the Wolves star tweeted.
This will be the sixth time both Nigeria will be meeting Niger, with Nigeria winning four times and drawing one.
Former Super Eagles midfielder Seyi George Olofinjana has also urged the Home Eagles to take seriously their first Group C opponents of the 2016 African Nations Championship, the Mena of Niger.
The former Stoke City midfield enforcer spoke with Completesportsnigeria.com.
“Starting well at the championship will be key in how well the team fare in Rwanda. The Super Eagles have to take the game seriously despite the fact that they are playing against a supposedly weak side in Niger,” Olfinjana told Completesportsnigeria.com.
“I have heard a lot of Nigerian friends hail the quality of the players called up by Sunday Oliseh which is good to know.
“I believe the other teams in the group will not be easy too. So yes, I wish them the best, I hope we (Nigeria) win.”
The Nigeria-Niger match kicks off at 5pm Nigerian time on Monday.
Stephen Keshi led the Eagles to a bronze medal finish in 2014 when South Africa hosted the CHAN, which was Nigeria’s debut at the Championship for African players in their domestic leagues.