ONE- Iceland players in solidarity with ailing Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme. The hands of fellowship will take back stage tomorrow when they face off with Nigeria at Volgograd Arena in Russia.
TWO- Russian defender, Denis Cheryshev, outpaced Egyptian Mohammed Salah in the 3-1 win for the host nation on Monday night at Saint Petersburg PHOTO ABIODUN AJALA
Iceland Will Be Tough, Rohr Warns Eagles
Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has confessed that Nigeriaâ€™s next Group D match against Iceland will not be a stroll in the park for his wards but to expect a tough game.
At the Volgograd Arena here on Friday, Nigeria is to meet Iceland who held two-time champions and runners up at Brazil 2014, Argentina, to a one-all draw in the opening game of the group last Saturday.
â€œIt will be a tough game. We have to be at our best and be more professional with our defending especially set pieces.
â€œWe have to be fully focused and not lose concentration all through the game. I believe with hard-work we can get a good result,â€ stressed the Franco-German gaffer at Eaglesâ€™ session with reporters in Essentuki yesterday ahead of the trip to the Volgograd.
He said he was not under any pressure from anywhere beyond what any coach who wants positive result from his wards to feel.
â€œThe pressure I feel now is the same as I have always felt. It is the usual pressure to win and do well for Nigeria. There is no need to add to this pressure.â€
Rohr however warned that too much pressure on the team like the vent of anger some Nigerians have been pouring on the players in the social medial space will not translate to positive result.
â€œMore pressure on the team will not translate to better results. We have watched the game (against Croatia) again to see our mistakes so we can correct them.
â€œI also observed that Croatiaâ€™s only shot at goal was in the 71st minute when they scored their penalty…that is football,â€ stressed the coach who remains lively ahead of the battle with Iceland that may define how long Nigeria will remain in the competition.
Croatia on top of the Group D on three points will take on Argentina today in a make or mar clash for the Albiceleste in Novgorod, Eagles will have no choice but to aim to pick maximum points against Iceland to hope any hope of making it to the group stage.
Like Rohr, the Iceland coach, Heimir Hallgrimsson, has also warned his wards not to expect any easy game against the three-time African champions despite the lost to Croatia.
â€œWe are not of the opinion that we are at all better than Nigeria. We know our strengths, and need to make the best of them,â€ Hallgrimsson warned in an interview on Russian Television, RT on Tuesday.