Eagles didn’t ‘fight dirty’ at Russia 2018, says Balogun
Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun has attributed Nigeria’s ouster from the Russia 2018 World Cup to lack of fighting spirit on the path of the team. In their last group D match against Argentina, the Super Eagles needed to hold the Argentinian team for a draw to advance, but they conceded a goal with only about 5 minutes left to play. “It’s always important when you play internationals to be a bit dirty,” the defender, 30, told BBC Sport. “That’s what Argentina had, definitely, and you also need to be cold-blooded – that’s probably the most important (lesson from this World Cup).” Balogun who was in the heart of defence with William Troost Ekong submitted that the team must reflect on its outing at the World Cup and make improvements. “It will be very important to keep going the way we have started,” the new Brighton and Hove Albion signing added. “We have experienced players, young players, talented players – and there are even more players that are not in the team yet – and we have to keep developing them and investing in their football education. “We just have to keep working and keep our focus on advancing year after year and then in the next four years we will have a good team – maybe an even better one.” Troost-Ekong also hopes the experience gained by the squad can lead to a brighter future for the Super Eagles. “Everyone was just trying to deal with the loss and move on, so it was a quiet dressing room but definitely one that learnt a lot and hopefully formed some players,” he told BBC Sport.