Mikel Obi was absent to lead the Super Eagles as they defeated Poland 1-0 in a friendly game.
Samson Siasia has stated that the absence of Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel in the friendly games against Poland and Serbia is good for the team.
Mikel missed out as the Super Eagles grinded out a 1-0 win against Poland on Friday, March 23 as the team was captained by William Troost –Ekong.
According to reports Mikel was unable to meet up for the game as he had work permit constraints to sort out for Tianjin Teda FC.
Siasia who had two separate spells in charge of the Super Eagles revealed in a report by Complete Sports that Mikel’s absence is a blessing in disguise.
Mikel is expected to lead the Super Eagles to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and Siasia sees his absence in the friendlies as an opportunity to test run other players.
He said, “We all know his influence and what he can do in the team but the fact that he is not available will give the coach the opportunity to try other players in the position.”
“There are many players in the camp and I believe we still have more friendly matches to play before the World Cup which he will definitely be part of.”
After missing out against Poland, Mikel confirmed his absence against Serbia on his Instagram account, and Siasia admitted that it is unfortunate that he will not be on ground for the game.
“It is unfortunate that Mikel will not able to travel to London for the match against Serbia having missed the Poland match,” Siasia said
Siasia who was in charge as Mikel led the U-23 team to a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games stated that the victory against Poland was a step in the right direction.
He said, “The match against Poland was not bad, the Super Eagles played well and with that, I am sure they will keep improving but they need more understanding to get it right.”
After the game against Serbia on Tuesday, March 27 the Super Eagles will not converge until May for back to back friendlies against Congo DR, and in June will take on England and Czech Republic.
Nigeria will play another friendly against Congo DR in May before facing England and Czech Republic in June.