Of the line-up that started Nigeria’s 1-0 win against Burundi last Saturday, coach Gernot Rohr dropped five players in Wednesday’s second Group B match against Guinea, including his influential skipper John Obi Mikel.
The Chelsea legend who is participating in his fifth AFCON was dropped in favor of Alex Iwobi in the play-making position.
Stoke City star Oghenekaro Etebo has revealed that Mikel always motivates the players whether or not he’s on the pitch.
‘’I must tell you he is a good leader, quality leader for that matter even when he is not on the pitch, he always encourages everyone,’’ Etebo said in the mixed zone.
‘’The most important thing is that every team that wants to succeed sticks together because that’s what the manager use to say, whoever is playing or not.’’
The Super Eagles have been brilliant in defence so far at the AFCON, posting two shut-outs in back-to-back matches, but have struggled to break down the opposition having scored only two goals.
‘’The most important is that we get the three points, you saw the game between Ghana and Benin, they had a a 2-2 draw. Even if you score one goal and you have three points, it is very important and it’s vital.
‘’That doesn’t count if you score three, four or five goals, the most important is to get a win and three points,’’ added Etebo.
On the Super Eagles advancing to the last 16 with a game to spare, the Nigeria number 8 said : ‘’I am excited about it, not only just me but the nation is excited about it.’’