Croatia’s coach, Zlatko Dalić has disclosed that one of the biggest worries he has about playing Nigeria in their first match at next year’s World Cup is that midfielder Mikel Obi is a very motivational captain for the Super Eagles.
Casting his mind ahead of the June 16, 2018 Group D clash in Kaliningrad, Dalić admitted that it would be their most important match of the competition, which is why he has to find a way to curtail Mikel’s influence on the game and equally deal with the Eagles’ expected fast paced attacks and speed on the break.
Dalić, who was appointed Croatia coach following the sacking of Ante Cacic ahead of their crunch World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in October, however, promised that he and his players will do their best to pull through.
“Nigeria is not a typical African national team, they have Mikel as a captain and a young, powerful player. They are fast, agile, will not be easy, but if the plan to go through we have to beat them.”
“I said already, it’s not easy, but it could be harder. However, I say that the priority is to go to the second round, the knockout competition. If we do not get it, it would be a failure,” added the 51-year-old coach.