…We won’t take them lightly, vows Keshi
Nigeria and Iran go to battle in Curitiba tonight in their first match at the on-going World Cup in Brazil
The Super Eagles have taken just two points from six matches in their last two appearances at the World Cup, but have higher hope this time around after winning the Africa Cup of Nations last year.
And Coach Stephen Keshi believes getting the better of his opposite number, Carlos Queiroz, will be the biggest challenge for his side as they take on Iran.
“I think their coach is their biggest weapon, because he’s well experienced, he knows the game well,” Keshi told FIFA. com.
The Nigeria manager added, “Against Iran we have to be focused. We have to concentrate and do our job. We’re not going to take Iran lightly because they’re not going to take us lightly, so we have to go out with everything that we have.
“They have a very good coach and I’m sure they also have some quality players. We don’t know Iran very well, but we’ll see them on Monday.”
Nigeria’s battle will be spearheaded by Chelsea’s Obi Mikel and goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, while captain Joseph Yobo could make his 100th appearance for his country against Argentina in the final group game.
Keshi is relying on them to guide his young squad. “You can’t buy this sort of experience. I pray that Enyeama, Yobo and Mikel Obi will bring all their experience. Youth is good, but if we can combine youth and experience that will be great for us.”
Keshi has what it takes to get the maximum points today. Emmanuel Emenike is still his usual self and if he combines well with Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses and perhaps Osaze Odemwingie they would overpower the men from the Middle East.
Iran’s preparations for their fourth World Cup have been far from ideal with international sanctions on the Iranian government leading to a lack of funds to arrange friendly matches.
No matter, Queiroz is convinced he will get full commitment from his players.
“We have no doubt about our players’ readiness and I know who will start exactly against Nigeria,” said the former Real Madrid boss.
“We will have 90 minutes to fight against Nigeria and one thing for sure is the Iranian players are willing to give 100 percent and work hard to get results.”
Source: National Mirror


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