Shittu predicts Korea showdown
Danny Shittu believes Nigeria's clash with South Korea will dictate who finishes second in Group B.
Last Updated: 17/06/10 10:44am
Nigeria defender Danny Shittu believes his team's clash against South Korea will dictate who finishes second in Group B.
The Super Eagles opened their World Cup campaign with a defeat to Argentina and need three points against Greece on Thursday in order to keep their qualification hopes alive.
Argentina are widely expected to come out top of the four sides and can hammer home their advantage by beating South Korea, meaning the pressure is on Shittu's team to pick up a victory in Bloemfontein.
That would mean his side's final game on 22nd June - against Bolton team-mate Chung-Yong Lee - could see a straight fight for runner-ups between the pair.
Shittu told reporters>: "I suppose we would fancy beating Greece, so it'd come down to that game to see who qualifies.
"I told Chungy on the last day of training that I was going to come in from behind and slide tackle him."
An early exit from the tournament would come as a shock for Nigeria, who are widely expected to be one of the strongest African nations on offer in the tournament.
South Africa's hosting of the finals is the first time the competition has been held on the continent and Shittu revealed the pressure was on his team to perform.
Defeat against the Greeks would effectively end their chances of progress and the 29-year-old fears a backlash in his native land if they fail.
He explained: "In Nigeria if you don't win, people are not really happy.
"When it comes down to that last qualifying game, one of the big things being pressed into us was that it's the first World Cup in Africa.
"We absolutely had to be in it and we only just made it through. It would have been a crime to miss out. Now we have the right players and I believe with the right management. All the people back home think we can do well."
Team-mate and former Newcastle United striker Obafemi Martins was also refusing to contemplate defeat, adding: "We simply have to pick up three points. We're still in with a good shout if we do that.
"Like many of the players in this squad this is my first World Cup and we are all fighting to make a great impact collectively."