‘Nigeria are an average team' - Emmanuel Babayaro gives blunt assessment of Rohr's setup

The ex-goalkeeper questioned the Super Eagles’ quality and technical ability after Saturday’s defeat in Kaliningrad

The Super Eagles are an average team and have to come to terms with that 'fact' to move further at the 2018 World Cup, according to ex-Nigeria goalkeeper Emmanuel Babayaro.

After bowing to a 2-0 loss to Croatia in their opening World Cup fixture, the former international believes the Super Eagles are not special and still have a lot of work to do.

“We deceive ourselves too much. Nigeria have been an average team, we're not spectacular but we won't accept the fact that we're an average team,” Babayaro told Goal.

“We lie to ourselves saying we're that good. But I will keep saying, as long as we don't accept our inadequacies we are not going to improve, we have to tell ourselves the truth in order to work hard.

“If we tell ourselves we are that good, there will be no room for improvement, but if we tell ourselves we are not that good, which is the truth, we will have a lot of room to improve then we will work hard."

The Croats' defeat means the three-time African champions face an uphill task to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

With matches against Iceland and Argentina still to come in Group D, the 41-year-old, worried about Nigeria’s technical ability, feels Gernot Rohr’s men need luck to progress to the second round of the tournament in Russia.

“Croatia and Iceland are the biggest threats to Nigeria's qualification because these emerging forces are very serious about what they do. These sides are technically and tactically disciplined," he continued.

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“As long as it is about how good and technically sound you are, I doubt if Nigeria can come out of the group. If we go by technical statistics, we can't come out of this group. The only way we can qualify from the group is just by luck and God giving us the day no matter how poor we play.

“We're a team that doesn't have the best goalkeeper, the best defence and midfield. Our power lies more in our attack with one or two persons in the middle, how do you think such a team can stand against the technically sound teams around the world.”

Babayaro PS