Mikel failed to join the Super Eagles due to work permit issues in China.
Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr has stated that he wants his players to perform in the absence of captain Mikel Obi.
Mikel will not feature for the Super Eagles when they take on Poland at the Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw on Friday, March 23.
The Tianjin Teda midfielder was a key figure for the Super Eagles during the qualification process for the 2018 FIFA World Cup as he scored two goals.
Mikel who was included in the 28 players invited for the Super Eagles friendlies will reportedly not make it due to work permit constraints.
Speaking at the pre-match conference Rohr stated that Mikel is the teams’ leader but he hopes the Eagles can put up a good performance against Poland without him.
“We have a team but we need a leader and John Obi Mikel is our uncontested leader, and we are playing like a team and we have other players who can take responsibility”
“We have 2nd captain we have 3rd captain we have 4th captain so I think the team will able to give a good response.
“Unfortunately he had this problem in with Work permit in China which means he can go out but not come back”
“But it will be interesting to see how the players can do without him, It’s a test match for us we have some new players to see we have an opportunity to test some players,” Rohr said.
The 54-year-old also revealed that these will be the last set of friendlies before the final list for the World Cup.
He said, “Our final list will be in 14th of May and no other game will be after March so it’s very important for us and its also important to play without our captain to see how the team will react.”
In the absence of Mikel, Ogenyi Onazi is expected to lead the Super Eagles against Poland.
After the game against Poland, the Super Eagles will take on Serbia on Tuesday, March 27.