Glasgow Rangers defender Leon Balogun has urged fans not to give up on the Super Eagles as the team is determined to fix every mistake made during the disastrous 4-4 draw with Sierra Leone in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Friday, November 13.
Several reactions have trailed Nigeria’s draw against the Leone Stars in an Afcon qualifying match that saw Gernot Rohr’s men gave up a four-goal lead on home soil against one of the continent’s supposed football minnows.
While ex-international Garba Lawal believes no one should blame Gernot Rohr for the horrific result, Nigeria’s Sports Ministry pointed at the German gaffer’s incompetency as the reason behind the second-half collapse of the three-time African champions.
Many Nigerian fans have, however, blasted both the players and the coach for throwing away such a comfortable lead.
But Rangers defender Leon Balogun reveals inexperience may have played a part in the outing, and he has urged disappointed fans to keep faith with the Super Eagles as they push for the points needed to qualify for Cameroon 2021.
“To be very honest, I don’t like this kind of messages because my job is to play on the pitch, I am not here to hold great speeches, so I don’t want to offend anyone,” Balogun told reporters in Benin City.
“I understand that there is huge disappointment, you can’t believe us because we are the ones who suffered for it at first, but we brought this on us.
“The team is definitely determined to make up for this as I said before, the only thing I’d say is don’t give up on the team because mistakes are human.”
The former Brighton and Hove Albion ace admits mistakes were made during the encounter but maintains that the players were working to ensure those are not repeated in future matches.
“Everybody, if you just check yourself in the mirror today, at the end of the day, you’ll maybe find one moment where you’ll say that wasn’t my best.
“Don’t forget that and just be faithful because we have been delivering some great performances over the past few years, we have some great achievements as well.
“The team is still young, you can blame that maybe a bit on lack of experience what happened yesterday.
“You normally learn your greatest lessons when you make mistakes, not when you are on top, so this was a wake-up call, and we are going to make sure that we take the right message from there, ” added the Super Eagles number 6.
After three rounds in Group L of 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, the Super Eagles lead the way with seven points.
The Benin Republic defeated Lesotho 1-0 on Saturday, meaning the Super Eagles would qualify with a win against Sierra Leone on Tuesday if Lesotho drop points at home to Benin on Matchday four.