Nigeria can still progress to the World Cup knockout stage, despite their 2-0 defeat to Croatia on Saturday, according to John Obi Mikel.
Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel insists Nigeria must ‘go back to the drawing board’ following their 2-0 World Cup defeat to Croatia, but still harbours hopes the Super Eagles can progress from Group D.
An own-goal from Oghenekaro Etebo and a penalty from Luka Modric secured the points for Croatia from a turgid contest in Kaliningrad on Saturday, without Nigeria ever looking likely of mounting a comeback.
And former Chelsea midfielder Mikel, who captains Gernot Rohr’s side, acknowledged Nigeria must improve ahead of their clash with Iceland on Friday.
“We have to play better. I think we can play better, we can do better,” Mikel told reporters.
“It’s difficult to say I think. We have to go back to the drawing board and see what we can do better, together as a team.
“It’s not easy playing against these fantastic players, European players; they can hurt you in any given time. We know that, but we have to do better.”
However, despite Nigeria’s inefficiencies, Mikel is confident that progression from Group D is still possible; citing that Argentina’s unexpected draw with Iceland has provided the Super Eagles with a lifeline.
“Why not? We believe. That’s why we’re here,” the skipper added.
“That’s why we came here. We have two more games to play. Argentina drew so I think this is a bit better for us.”Next game, we have to go and try to win the game. If we do that, we’re back in it again.”