Mikel played as the creative midfielder for the Nigerians in the 1-0 win over debutants Burundi in last Saturday’s Group B match at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Many have called on coach Gernot Rohr to switch the former Chelsea star to a defensive midfield role following the clash.
However, Taribo, who played at the 2000 edition of the competition, has urged the team’s technical crew to encourage Mikel.
According to him, a pep talk from the handlers could be what the Champions League winner with Chelsea needs to do a step better.
“Ahead of the next match against Guinea, I think that number 10 position should be given to Mikel. Most of the time, he was creative in the game,” the former AC Milan star told Bril FM.
“I also believe that the coach also should help to give him much pep talk to encourage him. Sometimes coaches could give you a pro talk to encourage you and that could really go a long way to bring about an excellent performance.”
Concise News had reported that the Eagles on Tuesday suspended a training strike over unpaid bonuses following last-minute pleas by the country’s football officials.
The team finally agreed to train in Alexandria, 30 minutes after schedule, after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) promised to pay a win bonus from their 1-0 victory over Burundi on Saturday, by the end of the week.
NFF spokesman, Ademola Olajire, told AFP “the matter has been resolved,” conceding that funds for the tournament had arrived late.
“The NFF received part of the money meant for the tournament today and is in the process of converting it to dollars to pay the players and officials,” he said.
“The only money they’re owed is the win-bonus for the Burundi match.”
The bonuses were expected to be paid by the NFF after Saturday’s game.
Officials close to the team, who spoke under anonymity, told AFP that following reassurances from the NFF “the team captain spoke to the players, asking them to show some understanding after which the team agreed to train.”
The players had earlier boycotted the official pre-match conference.
Other NFF officials disclosed that the players had been paid a daily training allowance of $200-a-player from June 2 to June 30.