2019 AFCON: Eagles ready to rule — Mikel

AFTER more than two weeks of intensive preparations, John Obi Mikel says the Super Eagles are ready for their opening match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations against the Swallows of Burundi on Saturday in Alexandria.

The Eagles’ captain made this declaration when the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick paid the team a visit to their Helnan Palestine Hotel camp in Alexandria yesterday.

Mikel assured Pinnick who is also the 1st Vice President of CAF that he and his teammates would show 100 per cent commitment to all the matches they would play at Africa’s flagship tournament.

He promised that the three-time African champions will be very professional on and off the pitch and do all they can to make the country proud.

“Mr President, we thank you for all that you have done for this team over the years, as the head of Nigerian Football. We appreciate your honest approach to all issues that concern our welfare.

“We all are aware of what is at stake. This tournament will not be child’s play or a stroll in the park, but we are ready. It will be tough but when it gets tough, we will get tougher.”

Earlier, Pinnick had challenged the team to stay focused on winning the top prize while warning them not to underrate their opponents.

“Do not take any team for granted. Easy groups exist only on paper; things are different on the pitch. The NFF will ensure you get all that is due to you. This is a very important tournament and Nigerians are fully behind you. You should do your very best not to disappoint them.

“The NFF is happy about the situation in camp; the commitment, discipline and dedication of each and every one of you. You have all the quality of a champion team and everything about you is positive.”

(The Nation)