Captain of the senior national team of Nigeria John Mikel Obi has played down suggestions in some quarters that Nigeria are easier to beat when he is not playing.
Since the appointment of coach Gernot Rohr, the two games Nigeria have lost came in the absence of the captain, namely the 0-2 loss against South Africa in the AFCON 2019 Qualifiers and the recent 0-2 loss to Serbia in an international friendly game.
Mikel who was unable to take part in the friendly loss against Serbia due to work permit renewal at his Chinese side Tianjin Teda, insist the loss was not down to his absence.
” It’s disrespectful when people say a team as talented as ours can’t win when I’m not playing. We have players who can fill in for me adequately. Simply put we are not a one man team”, Mikel told Owngoalnigeria.com in an interview facilitated by his close friend.
” The team were unlucky against Serbia, it’s as simple as that and just like the loss to South Africa, we didn’t play to our potential with too many individual errors proving costly. As a team we’ll keep improving and hopeful make a positive impression at the World Cup “, he concluded.