A former Super Eagles head coach, Johannes Bonfrere has provided tips on how the team can qualify from the second round of the World Cup in Russia.
Bonfrere said the Eagles must secure vital wins in their first two games against Croatia and Iceland before a last outing with Argentina to stand any chance of advancing beyond the group stages.
The Dutchman said this on Brila FM Saturday, reiterating that Gernot Rohr’s team must be wary of two Croatian key players on June 16 (next Saturday) in their Group D opener.
He said. “The game against Croatia is the most important. Maybe Gernot Rohr has to play with five midfielders because they (Croatia) have two of the best midfielders in the world (Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic).
Bonfrere said, “Iceland is a different team but I believe Nigeria can beat them. It could be an easy game for Argentina that is why Nigeria need to have two good results against Croatia and Iceland.
On the performance of Gernot Rohr’s in their pre-World Cup warm up friendlies which saw them win one, draw two and lose thrice, he said: ”It’s not bad to lose friendlies, what natters is improving upon what you learned from the matches.”
On discipline, he added, “When I was the Super Eagles coach, I had to find a balance on how I managed the players.
“Sometimes some of them will arrive the country ahead of time but you hear they go to their families. I understand that after so many months away in Europe, you need to see your family because these boys bring financial gifts.
“As a coach you have to take it easy on the players or sometimes be tough at training because they have different mental strengths.”
The Eagles will leave Vienna, Austria, on Monday for Russia.