The captain of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, John Obi Mikel is confident that, despite the tough group handed to Nigeria, the West African Nation will do well in the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Speaking at a press conference in Uyo, Nigeria ahead of back-to-back friendly matches, first against Congo on the 28th of May and then against England the same week, Mikel said: "We lost against Serbia (in a recent friendly match) due to some mistakes but they are not major things that cannot be rectified.
We are working on them and I’m sure this team will come out stronger.
I’m optimistic about this team and I know we will do well at the World Cup. We just have to be focused and disciplined. We have to go in as underdogs but we must prove that we are as good as any team on the day.”
What remains unclear though is whether what "doing well" means to Mikel is the same thing it means to fans and other stakeholders.
Nigeria, despite having won more matches in the history of African teams' world cup participations, have never reached the quarter-final stage; a feat that has been achieved by Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana.
If the Super Eagles of Nigeria are to truly "do well" in Russia, then they would need to , at least, reach the quarter-final stage and perhaps go further......