By China Acheru
Former Super Eagles attacker, Victor Ikpeba believes the right mentality by the Super Eagles players may turn out the deciding factor for them rather than formation put out by the coaches.
Ikpeba played for the Super Eagles at the AFCON in 1992, 1994, 2000 and 2002 and speaking ahead of Nigeria’s opening game against Burundi says he is not a fan of formations but the mentality of the players.
“I have never been really crazy about formations. Whether you are playing 3-4-3 or 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, I have not been a fan.
“It is the mentality the players take into these games that is important. If they listen to the coaching of the manager, his philosophy and everybody knows what to do when he gets into the pitch, then the chance of being successful is there, but we all know it is football and a lot of errors do cost teams,” Victor Ikpeba said.
Victor Ikpeba played for the Super Eagles between 1993 and 2002. In his time with the team, Rashidi Yekini was top scorer and that team also had the likes of Richard Owubokiri, Samson Siasia and Yakubu Aiyegbeni.
The former Monaco man believes a high scoring side can cover up the deficiencies of other aspects of the team.
“If we create enough because we have players to create chances. Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi and even Mikel Obi who is back in the team.
“In the midfield, we have the likes of Wilfred Ndidi and I must say we are very solid in midfield and the defense with players like Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun and William Ekong,” Ikpeba added.
“I only worry about the goalkeepers, but if we score enough goals we can cover for the goalkeepers we have.”
Nigeria must attack and be clever
“If we go there, we must play as a team, attack and defend, because these games have to be very tactical,” Ikpeba continued.
“We must remember Cameroon from what they did two years ago. They defended well and punished teams on the counter, so we must play cleverly if we can score goals.
Nigeria has missed the last two editions of the AFCON and will be hoping to make a good impression this time in Egypt. The Super Eagles start against Burundi on Saturday and have two other group games against Madagascar and Guinea