StoryJohn Mikel Obi: Nigeria can beat anyone in Africa

Nigeria captain John Mikel Obi has vowed that his side are capable of beating any African team on their day after they brushed side Cameroon by a 4-0 scoreline.

The African champions were clearly outclassed by the Super Eagles in the qualifier on Friday, and this sees the Indomitable Lions on the cusp of missing out on next year's World Cup.

Mikel returned to the national side after a long injury layoff, and he managed to mastermind the thrashing of their cross-border rivals. Speaking in his post-match press conference, the former Chelsea man believes that there is more to come from Gernot Rohr's side, who look on course to qualify for another World Cup.

He said: "The players are very intelligent players, they listen a lot and we all work together as a team.If we continue playing this way and do what we are doing now, we can beat anyone in Africa."

Mikel, who was part of Nigeria's 2013 Africa Cup of Nations triumph, also feels that he has a more influential role in Rohr's squad after he bagged a goal and assist for himself in the victory over Cameroon, he added: "We have a very young team. I feel I have a responsibility every time I step on the pitch to play. This team needs experience, this team needs guidance. The players are good players, quick players but sometimes they need someone who can direct them, to make sure we have balance and that's what we did today.

The midfielder's future has initially been placed in doubt after Rohr admitted that there are no assurances for players who ply their trade in the Chinese Super League. However, the likes of Odion Ighalo and Mikel have proved that a lower level of competition is not a stumbling block after they paired together to score the opener on Friday. With three games to go, Nigeria are in pole position to clinch their World Cup spot, but Mikel has urged his teammates to avoid any complacency in the backstage of the qualifying phase.