Semi Ajayi charges teammates
Former Arsenal U21 captain Semi Ajayi has warned his Super Eagles teammates not to get carried away ahead of their epic round of sixteen Africa Cup of Nations against Tunisia, who are above them in the FIFA ranking.
Nigeria go into the battle of the Eagles on the back of three successive wins in the group stage, making the three-time African champions firm favorites to advance to the quarterfinals whereas Tunisia managed only one win while losing their other games in Group F.
The Super Eagles proved they have a good squad depth by beating Guinea-Bissau 2-0 despite eight changes to the starting lineup, one of which saw Ajayi replace Kenneth Omeruo.
Speaking to NFF TV, Ajayi said : "Absolutely, I 100 percent believe in the guys that we have in this squad, we have an abundance of talent and definitely the potential to go all the way.
"But it is not about talking, we need to do it on the pitch, we need to stay focused and not get too carried away, we do that, stay humble and work hard hopefully we can achieve our potential."
The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations has already seen some upsets with defending champions Algeria and four-time winners Ghana eliminated from the competition after finishing bottom of their respective group.
Ajayi has advised his teammates that they must show respect to their opponents in order to avoid a shock elimination.
"Honestly there is no one team that has a divine right to the AFCON. Everyone is concerned, we've already seen upsets happen already so just because you have big names and big teams it's the AFCON anyone can beat anyone so we have to show everyone respect and I'm sure other teams are showing us respect. We'll see who wins."
Not taking into account the African Nations Championship where only domestic-based players are fielded, Nigeria have met Tunisia nineteen times in the past and the head-to-head record is even as the Super Eagles have six wins, the north Africans have six wins as well and seven matches were drawn.