Super Eagles midfielder, John Ogu, believes that the team will respond strongly against Iceland on Friday, June 22 after losing their first Russia 2018 World Cup Group D match 2-0 to Croatia on Saturday. In this interview with Completesportsnigeroa.com’s NNAMDI EZEKUTE in Kaliningrad Russia, Ogu assures that Eagles will step up and fight to salvage things against the tenacious World Cup newcomers…
One game gone in Group D without a point for the Super Eagles. Iceland and Argentina games are where you can salvage things. What do you think at this moment?
I think it’s just one game played by each team. A whole lot could change after everyone has played three matches. We are down only in the standings for now, but we are not out yet. Every team in the Group still has two battles to do. I am confident that we will qualify from this group.
Croatia had massive support in the game with their fans all over the terraces. Did that count against the Super Eagles?
Croatia fans were much in the stadium, encouraging their team during the match, it was massive. However, that wasn’t an excuse for our defeat.
To be sincere, I don’t think they were much better than us. We conceded two goals from set-pieces. We will watch the replay, correct the mistakes made and just work harder to get the required points from our remaining two matches.
Did you feel disappointed sitting out the whole game against Croatia?
(Smiles) No, I wasn’t disappointed. As a team everyone wants to play, and all of of won’t play at the same time. I believe that my time will come. When the time comes for me to play, like every other player in the team, I will go out there fighting for a good result. Like every other player in the team I’m sad about the result against Croatia, but we have two games to respond better.
Watching from the bench, did you feel you could have done something decisive to help the team get a good result if you had played?
No, I don’t look at it that way. Everyone that played did their best. They gave it their best shot. As a team, we have to put that behind us, take the positives and move on stronger.
Iceland came out smoking against Argentina in the first match of Group D and deservedly got a draw. Are you concerned that they will confront Super Eagles with a bigger motivation from that result?
It was a good result for Iceland. They got it against Argentina, now they will play against Nigeria. Two games won’t be the same in many ways. It’s going to be a different match. That match is an opportunity for us to make amends and get a good result. It’s important that we win it. It will be a massive game, but we shall be focusing on winning it.