The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) second vice president, Shehu Dikko, has revealed that his only fear for the Super Eagles ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup campaign is the psycological advantage which thier group opponents would enjoy over them, courtesy of the present FIFA ranking.
Speaking on the sideline at the ongoing workshop for the League Match Commissioners in Abuja yesterday, the chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), argued that the fact that FIFA ranking rated other teams in the group higher than the Super Eagles confers psychological advantage on them.
He however stated that with solid arrangements in place, especially in the area of offering the player mouth watering winning bonuses higher than any other team participating in the tournament, the players would rise to the occasion.
He revealed that the federation has gone a step further to procure software programs that will analyse the performance of Super Eagles opponents.
“The fact that we emerged last in our group which was based on our FIFA ranking was enough limitation and can affect the players psyche. Naturally, based on football mathematics, the other teams are rated ahead of Nigeria even though it does not work that way. The limitation can serve as motivation to turn things around.
“You can see our friendly with Argentina and the friendly we have lined up. We are playing quality games that can prepare our team against the countries we are going to play at the group stage and beyond.
“Everything is being done and hopefully if we keep our own bargain, the players can raise their game as they have always done. They are more motivated to deliver their own part,” he said.
Giving more update on the preparations for the Russia World Cup, the LMC boss said: “Already the technical crew has engaged so many staff who are working underground all over the world, monitoring our players and our opponents and furnishing the technical crew with the details.
“Where we have issues like in the goalkeeping department, our goalkeepers’
trainers are following them up to ensure that they are keeping up with their training.
“The objective is to do much better than we have ever done. Our take is that having put good arrangements in place, why not make a case for the trophy.”