Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi admitted that he is a bit under pressure to do well in his debut world cup as coach.
Keshi, against all odds won the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa. He became the first Nigerian as coach to achieve the feat as captain of the team in 1994 and then coach in 2013. But facing the world seems to be a Herculean task as it was demonstrated at the FIFA Confederations Cup last year in Brazil. “I have qualified two countries for the world cup. I did not go to the first one, but I am going to my first world cup in Brazil. Certainly I feel a little bit of pressure. But we are going to work really hard to make an impact,”
Perhaps this was why he expected so much from his players in their friendly game against Greece and last night against the USA.
“I think I was asking for a lot. “I have just realised that as a team, we only started training together last week in Philadelphia.
“I know I am asking for too much but I needed to push the boys and ask for more (from them),” said the coach.
Striker, Peter Osaze Odemwingie and midfielder, John Obi Mikel admitted that the team is under pressure to perform.
“Winning the African Cup has put us under pressure.
“Expectations are high but that will make us step our games up because it is another level from the African Cup to the World Cup.
“We need to step our game up one level higher as individuals and as a team and that’s what we are going to do.”
Mikel, however, believes that the Eagles will ride the pressure. “We are representing the whole of Africa, the whole continent in the tournament.
“But it is going to be tough out there. We know that. It’s the highest level.
“We want to go all the way. We want to get to the final.
“With the team spirit we have and the calibre of players that we have, we think we have a good chance.