Idowu: If we give Messi space, he will punish us

Super Eagles defender, Bryan Idowu, has warned his teammates not to get complacent in the winner-takes-all decider against Lionel Messi and Argentina on Tuesday.

Idowu, who has Russian links, advised the Eagles on how to maintain their determined efforts and focus.

“We are 100 per cent focused. If you give Lionel Messi space he will punish you,” Idowu said.

“That’s what the Croatians showed against him. We have to give our best and play as a team. They will be difficult to play. We will be facing Messi, Dybala and Di Maria.

“We have to be cautious and determined against Argentina. We need to recover and prepare for the game against them. We need to rest, work on our lapses and get ready for Argentina.

“But we will take solace from our performance in the friendly match we played against them when we scored four goals. We need to implement what we have learnt. Hopefully, we should win.

“They have picked one point from two matches. They will come out against us. We must stay humble and continue to work hard.”

Idowu took time to reflect on the 2-0 win against Iceland.

“We didn’t concede and we dealt with their set pieces. We had the ball more in the second half and played a very good game,” he said.

“I was hoping that Francis was going to save the penalty kick. In Russia, I have seen a situation when my goalkeeper at Amkar Perm saved two penalties. In the end, the kick went over the bar. Even if the ball had gone in I was very sure of our abilities to hold on.

“I hope it doesn’t repeat itself. If you concede two goals in a World Cup, the hope of coming back is usually difficult.”