Chelsea star Mikel Obi has said he is unfazed by reports the Eagles will play on a “bumpy” pitch in Ethiopia in Sunday’s World Cup playoff.
The Nigeria advance party to Ethiopia led by the Nigeria Football Federation technical committee chairman Chris Green has already warned the players that they will play on a bumpy pitch at the Addis Ababa National Stadium. However, Mikel has assured the Eagles will cope with the poor pitch.
“We have heard about the poor pitch, but that should not stop us from qualifying for the World Cup because most of us started on such pitches,” Mikel told MTNFootball.com “Personally, I started my football on the streets of Jos, playing with stones and rocks, and I know the various injuries and problems we suffered doing that. “I don’t have a problem with such a pitch as long as it is not an artificial pitch.
“Our focus is qualification for the World Cup and so we hope to win on Sunday.” Fellow Eagles star, Victor Obinna Nsofor, also told MTNFootball.com they are very much aware of the difficult local conditions in Ethiopia.
The Lokomotiv Moscow striker, who was part of the team who played out a 2-2 draw with Ethiopia two years ago, insisted a sharp change in weather, bumpy pitch and a partisan home crowd will not affect them.
“We are not taking the Ethiopians for granted, we are aware of what we are going there to face on Sunday. I played there in 2011 and I know how bad the pitch was, we expect same on Sunday,” Nsofor said.
“The weather too wasn’t friendly and the fans will be there to support their team. But we know all these and they won’t affect us because they are not strange to us.
“We have prepared well for the game. We believe in ourselves and God will crown our efforts.”