By Jude Opara
Former Nigerian international, Edema Fuludu has advised the Super Eagles players and their coaches to take their first World Cup game against Iceland very seriously insisting that such will help the team progress in the championship.
Fuludu who spoke to sports journalists in Abuja over the weekend said while not underrating perennial rivals Argentina as well as Croatia, winning the first game will give the team a lot of confidence to face the other two opponents.
He equally reacted to the two friendly matches against Poland and Serbia saying they exposed some of the weak points of the team, adding that such has provided an opportunity for the coaches to address them.
According to him, the main area of concern is the ability of the strikers to score goals. He therefore argued that some other strikers especially Kano Pillars Junior Lokosa who has scored 14 goals in the Nigerian league.
“If we can beat Iceland, it will be a big plus because it will give the boys the confidence to face the other two opponents in the group. Yes everybody is talking about Argentina but for me getting over Iceland will be the key to our doing well. Argentina is dreaded but from experience, often times when you write-off Nigeria, that is when we spring surprises.
“I also think we are going to do well in Russia because we have a relatively young team that is hungry for results. Remember that initially nobody believed that the team could even qualify from the qualifying series given the other teams in that group. But now they have been improving gradually.”
Fuludu who is now as assistant coach with the national U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets talked about the ability of Odion Ighalo to score said he has more of brawn than technicality, saying he believes that Kelechi Iheanacho whom he argued is more technical to pair with him.
He reiterated that Head Coach Rohr should not destabilize the team by bringing in any other coach other than the very ones he already uses until after the World Cup.