Mikel: I'll lead by example
16 June 2014, 15:25
Sao Paulo - John Mikel Obi is determined to play his part in ensuring that Nigeria deliver on expectations at the 2014 World Cup.
The Super Eagles, who begin their Group F campaign on Monday with a match against Iran, head into Brazil as the reigning continental champions after winning the African Cup of Nations in South Africa last year.
Mikel is aware of that expectations will be high for the West Africans, who will be expected by their fans to qualify from a group that also includes Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina. And the Chelsea midfielder says he is ready to man-up and take responsibility for the Super Eagles’ fortunes.
"This is my first World Cup," Mikel told his club’s official website. "I want to make sure we achieve something coming here. We don't just want to come and make up the numbers, we want to do well.
"I have to make sure I lead by example. We are all driving in the same direction. We all know what we want and hopefully we will have a good tournament.
"We know we're the African champions and people expect us to do well, to represent the African continent. That's a bit more extra pressure but it's pressure that we love. We love to be African champions.
"We're doing well, we're doing everything we can, we're preparing well," he continued. "The result with Spain against the Netherlands shows anything is possible, so we have to make sure we approach games seriously and play well."
Mikel is one of three Chelsea players in the Nigeria squad, the others being Victor Moses and Kenneth Omeruo.
- TEAMtalk Media