Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun says the team would speak through their action inside the pitch in tomorrow’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Chipolopolo of Zambia rather than engage in unnecessary bragging.
“This is not the time to go about talking. We will do our talking inside the pitch on Saturday,” he said yesterday after the team’s training in Uyo. Balogun, who plays currently for 1. FSV Mainz 05 in the German Bundesliga, reminded many Nigerian football fans of the days of ‘The Gentle Giant’ Okechukwu Uche, Austin Eguavoen and Benedict Iroha, all of the 1994 squad during the double-headed clash against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun.
Speaking yesterday, he said: “Not many people gave both Zambia and Nigeria a chance when the draw was made, but look at football. They are the only teams left in the race in the group. This is not time to talk too much. We will do our talking on the pitch on Saturday.”
However, while Balogun prefers to wait till Saturday before doing the talking, goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi says the team is united in tomorrow’s battle against the Chipolopolo.
“For us, the catchword is ‘Zambia must fall,’ Akpeyi, a former Warri Wolves goalkeeper, now with Chppa United of South Africa told supersport.com yesterday.He added: “This is not to assume that the clash will be easy. It will be tough as Zambia is certain to throw in everything into the game to chance a win.
“Zambians can afford to boast or say whatever they want to talk with their mouths, they can as well psyche themselves, but we are not intimidated or shaken.
“We will fight and support each other to ensure we deliver the goods safely on Saturday. We will not further drag the qualification ticket. We are getting the whole three points against Zambia,” he stated.
Speaking further, Akpeyi who was left out in the double-header game against Cameroun due to injury disclosed that the goalkeeping department is in perfect hands. “I believe each of us, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Dele Ajiboye and myself, is good to go irrespective of the individual rating. We just hope every other departments will come to the party.
“Any of us asked to man the post is certainly going to do a good job, so there is complete calmness in that area. Nigerians should relax but encourage the team more as we are determined to get the desired result against Zambia.”
The Super Eagles lead Group B on 10 points three ahead of the Zambians. A win will be good enough to secure the sole ticket for Nigeria thereby making the last clash against the North African side, Algeria a mere formality.