Nigeria scraped through to the last eight after a fortunate sequence of results in the final group games and Vogts told KickOffNigeria.com that his team were relaxed and full of confidence going into the match.
“On Sunday we play eleven against eleven,” Vogts told KickOffNigeria.com on Wednesday. “That’s the match, nothing more. I know the situation, we are back in the tournament and we can play now from a good position. All the pressure is on Ghana, not on Nigeria.”
_quoteThe World Cup winner admitted that his team had been hit by an attack of nerves during their final group game against Benin.
“We didn’t play against Benin, we played against our pressure. And when we scored the first goal, you saw the smile come back to the faces of the players. And that’s important in football. After that you saw the body language and the movement of the players was much better.”
But Vogts refused to concede that his team was in a bad way, instead blaming pressure from the Nigerian fans and media.
“We were not in a bad way. Only problem is that we did not score a goal and the problem was being under pressure. The Nigerians give us a lot of pressure that we must win the Cup.
“The last time Nigeria won the Cup was 14 years ago, and now we have a very young team and we had a lot of problems. We lost key players like Kanu, who was injured, before the first match and Martins who was injured after the first half against Benin. Utaka at the moment is not in his best form and we have problems.
“Now we are back in the tournament, let’s see what happens.”
Vogts also made it clear he would not be speaking to the local media, accusing them of a lack of respect.
“You need respect from the journalists, and Nigerian journalists, they don’t have respect.
“I will speak to the international journalists because they have more respect for the players and the coaches, but not anymore to the Nigerian journalists.”