NFF 2nd Vice President Shehu Dikko speaks exclusively to Adewale Ajayi on Super Eagles preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The LMC Chairman also talks about the current situations in the team’s camp in Austria and other issues;
Adewale Ajayi: How is the team shaping up?
Shehu Dikko: All good and everyone shaping up and doubling up. This is the best bunch of players we have seen in a long time. There is no trouble, no issues and everyone are focused on the assignment at hand with togetherness all over.
AA: What was the training schedule like?
SD: It’s a multiple of training focusing on the individual needs of the players to put all back on top shape and full fitness. Morning and afternoon sessions involved, some players are even doing more on their own to get more sharpness.
AA: What is the atmosphere in camp like?
SD: All brilliant and togetherness in full action. Players and team are all excited with the quality of the facilities and serenity of the whole environment. No distractions but total concentration. The love and togetherness is simply amazing. John Obi Mikel is the best captain and leader in a long while as he has tuned his players to only focus on the job at hand to prepare for the World Cup.
AA: What was the morning two aside training like? Who and who paired in central defence and in attack?
SD: No two aside but specialized training, focused on all departments.
AA: Is Rohr tempted to apply the second half 3-5-2 formation he used against England in clash with Czech Republic?
SD: This is for Rohr to decide based on particular match situation and plan. All options are open and we have the talents in the group to achieve what is desired.
AA: The dropped players; Mikel Agu and Ola Aina. Are they in Austria? If yes, do they still train with the team?
SD: No, they are not but kept on standby and given specific trainings to keep fit should they be called back. Only the 23 players are here but the dropped players exhibited great mentality and sportsmanship as they all came and wish the team goodluck and pray for the team success before departing home prior to the team leaving London for Austria. There is great professional mentality and the whole team is happy as they didn’t make anyone feel bad but motivated the team. No bitterness at all but all happy to have been part of the group.
AA: The backroom staff that didn’t secure visas. Are they now in Austria?
SD: They are still in London but have made a submission today to the Austrian embassy with the intervention of the Nigerian High Commission in London. Hopefully their visas would be issued tomorrow and they will join the team later in Austria on Tuesday afternoon.