John Mikel Obi has warned his Super Eagles teammates to brace themselves for a tough challenge and be battle ready when they take on arch-rivals Cameroon in their crucial World Cup qualifying double-header early next month.
Nigeria lead Group B with six points, four points clear of second-placed Cameroon, but the Tianjin Teda’s midfielder says it won’t be an easy clash against the reigning African champions.
“We are in a very good position in our group,” Mikel told Fifa.com.
“As everyone knows, they are a very good team. They are strong and they play with confidence. We must get ourselves well prepared for this game and try our best to get on top against them.
”It won’t be easy but these are important matches. If we win both, we will be almost there.”
“We have two wins from two games, and in our last game, we beat Algeria at home. We have a very good young team and the players play good football. If we can win our next match (against Cameroon) it will edge us closer to qualification. I think we can go through.”
Mikel, 30, confirmed that he is fast recovering from the i that has sidelined him from action for the past four months.
“I had maintained good form until this injury,” he continued. “So it was a shame. But this is part of the game and now I am focusing on recovery and on coming back stronger. I will do whatever I can to get fit to play for Teda and my national team.
“This Nigeria team look up to me for advice. My team-mates miss me and they need me. As the captain, I want to fulfil my role and help them with my experience.”
In the absence of the former Chelsea star, Gernot Rohr’s Eagles suffered a humiliating 2-0 home defeat to South Africa in the Africa Nations Cup qualifiers in June.
It is not yet clear if he will be fit enough to file out against the Indomitable Lions in Uyo September 1.