* Hopefully, things will work out fine for us against Iceland on Friday
In apparent reaction to criticism of his poor offensive midfield role in the Super Eagles at the ongoing 2018 World Cup here in Russia, John Mikel Obi, insisted yesterday that he was ready to play in any department for the overall glory of the team.
Mikel who admitted to be aware of the feelings of Nigerians because of Super Eagles loss to Croatia, said that the team has trained hard and taken conscious notes of the areas that needed corrections.
“I have played in this advanced role for close to two years now and people never complained until we lost this game to Croatia.
“Personally, I am ready to play anywhere the coach wants me to play. I am comfortable with any of the roles, whether in a more offensive or defensive role. The most important thing is for the team to get positive result,” observed the Nigerian captain at the team’s session with sports journalists in Essentuki yesterday.
Despite the poor pass-mark awarded him by Jose Mourinho, his former manager at Chelsea, Mikel remains unperturbed, stressing that having played under the Portuguese gaffer for years, he understands what he was driving at.
“I have worked with Mourinho for a long time and he knows me very well. I understand what he’s talking about,” he remarked without feeling offended that Mourinho who converted him to a defensive midfielder considered him a poor No.10.
The Super Eagles captain however remains positive that Nigeria will make it to the knock out stage with Iceland and Argentina as next opponents.
“We have not given up hope in spite of the disappointment of that loss (to Croatia). We are training hard to make it out of the group. Hopefully, things will work out fine for us on Friday.”
Mikel said he would love Eagles to continue to remain in the competition as they have loved the atmosphere here. “We have enjoyed Russia so far. We have been able to work and train well.
“The training facilities, hotel and the people have been great.
We hope to qualify and stay longer here so we can get to know more places in Russia,” concludes the Nigerian captain.