23rd March, 2011
Nigeria and Ethiopia are tied on points on Group B table, but the Eagles are on top with a superior goal difference. Yobo, who plays for Fernebache Football Club of Turkey says since there are no longer minnows in football, he and his teammates should be prepared to face a tough battle against the Ethiopian team, being handled by Nigerian-born coach, Iffy Onuora.
The former Standard Liege of Belgium defender, who arrived Nigeria yesterday ahead of the all-important clash told Brila F.M that the Eagles are not going to treat the Ethiopians with kid gloves.
Yobo, who once played for the Flying Eagles insisted that the senior national team may parade more stars than Ethiopia, but they wonâ€™t let this get into their heads. He emphasized thatÂ Â winning the game will brighten their chances of qualifying for the 2012 biannual championship, to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
According to him, â€œfootball is not easy as people feel and there are no easy teams any more. The most important thing is the three points. Sundayâ€™s game wonâ€™t be an easy match for us, but we all know what is at stake, so we are going to do our best to get the maximum points from the encounter.â€
Yoboâ€™s compatriot, OB Odense of Denmark striker, Peter Utaka, corroborated his skipperâ€™s stand on the match. But, he believes the Eagles have what it takes to defeat their opponents.
He hinged his optimism on the natural surface of the Abuja National Stadium. He opined that the natural surface of the stadium would give them an edge over the visitors.
In the words of the younger brother of erstwhile member of the team, John Utaka: â€œThis match wonâ€™t be easy for us, butÂ I know for sure that we are going to win the match. We would be playing on a natural pitchÂ unlike the Teslim Balogun Stadium, where we played Sierra Leone in an international friendly game, which has an artificial surface.â€ Other players have the same feeling as the date of the tie drws closer.
Meanwhile, Coach Onuora, who would lead the Ethiopians against his country of birth, has vowed to win the encounter in front of Nigerian fans.
He said: â€œI know my immediate family will want Nigeria to do well. I believe they will be proud of me too if I beat Nigeria because theyÂ want me to succeed in my job. Iâ€™m sure it will be a very good moment for my family. I have aunts, uncles and cousins in Nigeria and I know they want my success.â€
Reacting on the array of stars in the Super Eagles, Onuora said: â€œIâ€™m not worried about that because football is not played with big names.â€