The Super Eagles trainer has called reports in the media claiming disunity in the squad as unfounded ahead of their second match on Saturday
By Lolade Adewuyi in Cuiaba
The Super Eagles trained in the Arena Pantanal where they will play against Bosnia-Herzegovina in their second match of the tournament on Saturday evening.
Having come under pressure following their listless draw with Team Melli, Keshi regarded local media reports as unfounded saying that there was great harmony within the squad and they want to do well in their next game.
He also dismissed singling out forward Peter Odemwingie for not playing to instructions saying his criticism was directed at the entire team
“Everything is going well in our squad, the atmosphere is great and the media have nothing to talk about,” said Keshi at a press conference on Friday.
Captain Joseph Yobo also corroborated his coach: “People are trying to create distractions within the camp but they can’t find anything,” he said.
Nigeria cannot afford distractions on Saturday as they bid to win their first World Cup game since 1998.
The team has already suffered injury to central defender Godfrey Oboabona and would need to put up a big performance to stop the debutants at the Arena Pantanal and help the African cause in the competition after early elimination of Cameroon.
“It's not so good for the African continent,” Keshi said. “But there are one or two teams on course to do something for the continent. If you look around, it's not just Africa. The champions of the world, after the first two games, they are out.
“There are no more little teams in the world when it comes to football. You get yourself prepared or you will be kicked out. We will try to make the continent proud.”
Speaking about the bomb attack that led to the death of about 20 people in Damaturu, Yobe state on Tuesday, Keshi said that the team was ready to play and bring joy to Nigerians.
“It's a sad thing. It is not a pleasant thing to see people dying for no reason,” Keshi said.
“Most Nigerians were not happy after we had a tie with Iran. Then after the bomb-blast, it was not pleasant at all. It's very tough for Nigerians. Our hearts go out to them. We will try to do everything possible to try and put a smile on Nigerian faces tomorrow.”