Former Nigeria midfielder Garba Lawal has said the Super Eagles need to put their 2-0 loss to Croatia in their first match of the 2018 World Cup in Russia behind them and begin preparations for their second match against Iceland.
Nigeria lost their opening match in Group D to the Europeans and currently sit bottom of the group with no point. They play Iceland, who are joint second with Argentina on one point, in Volgograd on Friday.
Lawal, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone, said the Croatia match should have been won but the Eagles paid too much respect to their opponents, adding that the loss has yet to condemn the team to an early exit from the competition.
He said, “The Eagles tried their best but it was not enough against a more experienced Croatian side. The match has been played and lost, so we shouldn’t be dwelling much on it.
“Losing against Croatia doesn’t mean that the Eagles are out of the World Cup, it only means that they have to do more to qualify from a group that is tough. What we see in the match is football – you win, lose draw some.
“But I will expect the team to begin preparations for the Iceland match because that will be tougher than what we saw against Croatia. The Iceland team is more compact and organised and as such, they will be very difficult to play against.
“What they did against Argentina is a pointer to the fact that they are very deadly and dangerous, so the Eagles need to be aware of this. If not that they were unlucky; they would have won the game.
“The Eagles need to step up their game and go for the best they can get against Iceland if they want to leave the group. It will be difficult but the Eagles can get the job done if they correct the lapses noticed yesterday.”