Speaking with THISDAY shortly after the draws, Akanni said with the form the Super Eagles players are, Ethiopia should not be a stumbling block. “With all due respect, I see Nigeria’s flag already being hoisted in Brazil. Though the Ethiopians might want to prove stubborn especially on their home ground but the Eagles will still get pass them,” he said.
According to the 1985 U-21 bronze winning player, Coach Stephen Keshi has made the players believe in themselves, most especially the home-based. “Gone are the days when players stroll to camp few days before crucial matches. The home-based are always in camp weeks before matches and should any of the foreign players failed to show up as a result of one reason or the other the ones in camp will be fielded, which is something that has been keeping the team going” Akani noted.
He however called for caution on the part of the players and charged them not take their opponent for granted and should learn from the past. “Examples are there for the players to learn from, so the game should be thread with caution.”
As part of Nigeria’s preparation towards the Ethiopia game, Akanni called for a top friendly game, saying the Super Eagles need a top friendly game before the match, just as he called on Keshi not to still look in the direction of players like Osaze Odemwingie and his likes if they show great improvement in their various clubs.