Joe Aribo has urged the Super Eagles to start very fast in Saturday’s 2022 African Cup of Nations qualification match against Benin Republic while the Rangers midfielder has also vowed to give his optimum best.
The Super Eagles are currently in camp in Lagos as the team is preparing for the 2022 African Cup of Nations qualifiers against both the Republic of Benin and Lesotho.
The Super Eagles lead the Group L table of the Afcon qualifiers with eight points and victory over Benin or Lesotho will seal their place at the continental tournament.
Ahead of the first encounter with fellow West African nation, Benin on Saturday, Aribo who recently won the Scottish Premiership title with Rangers spoke to Complete Sports.
Benin Republic is between the Super Eagles and qualification for the 2022 African Cup of Nations. What do we expect from Nigeria against the Squirrels in Port Novo on Saturday?
We need to start fast, we need to push very hard, we need to give a good, solid and 100 percent team effort, I believe that we, the players just need to play as a team.
The Beninoise are still hurting after losing the first leg to Nigeria by two goals to one. The Super Eagles, however, came from behind on that occasion to secure victory.
In that very game, I can remember that we did start a bit slow but against Benin on Saturday, we need to start really fast and we just can’t afford them to go a goal ahead of us.
And then, we will have to start chasing the game from behind, we will not let that happen this time around, we just have to take the game to them and also make it very difficult for them.
Right after Benin, Nigeria will square up against Lesotho in the last AFCON group qualifier at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos next week Tuesday, March 30. What do you expect from them?
We already know that they are going to come all out against us and they are going to be very good. Also, they will be looking to avenge the 4-2 home defeat which we inflicted on them in 2019.
But we just need to start fast, we need to push very hard, we need to give a good, solid and 100 percent team effort so as to come out of the match smiling with all three maximum points.
We are making efforts to qualify and that is why we are going to be prepared for the matches because we know how important they are, we want to win both games by giving our whole and doing what we can in order to get the two wins.
You recently won the first league title of your football career. Is that a good enough motivation for you to go ahead and give your very best and make sure the Super Eagles defeat Benin Republic and qualify for the 2022 African Cup of Nations?
It is a 100 percent fact that winning titles is such an amazing feeling, you just feel like a winner, that will certainly motivate you to want to win more trophies and even every football match you take part in.
So, are you promising Nigerians that the Super Eagles will destroy Benin Republic this weekend?
You know that you can’t make any promises in life simply because anything can happen but we are going to give 100 percent and that is a promise from myself and my team-mates in order to do what we have to do to get the required result.
Also, how gingered enough are you to win your first trophy with Nigeria, having only recently won the Scottish Premiership title with your club-side, Glasgow Rangers?
Honestly speaking, I am now obsessed with winning titles, just having the feeling of picking up the Scottish Premiership title with Rangers, I just want to win more and more trophies if I must be honest with you.
How does it feel to be playing in front of the Lagos fans when the Eagles play host to Lesotho at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on March 30
I have not experienced what it means to play in Lagos but I know it’s going to be an amazing one because football in Lagos is like we are back home. It is just going to be a nice feeling to play out there, I can’t wait to be out there honestly.
By Oluyemi Ogunseyin