In the aftermath of Super Eagles early and tidy qualification to the Russia 2018 FIFA Word Cup, Coach Gernot Rohr has told Nigerians to expect great things from the team, saying he is very excited to be working with the “blend of experienced, young and ambitious” players.
Franco –German tactician said despite uncertainties at the beginning following Nigeria’s failure to qualify for two successive Africa Cup of Nations, he sat down with the team and they plotted from the onset to go all out for the ticket.
He revealed that the home loss to South Africa on the AFCON 2019 qualifiers in the middle of the year in Uyo served as a wake-up call for the team and there would be no looking back any longer in the bid to recover the greatness and glory of the Super Eagles, once ranked fifth in the world.
“At the beginning of the qualifying series, many people said we were going to be chasing it. But we sat down together and we promised ourselves that we would go all out and get the ticket,” Rohr enthused.
“I am very excited to be working with this team: a blend of the experienced and the young and ambitious ones. They are a delight to be with at all times, and I believe we are onto great things.
“When you have a team that has so much self –belief, a lot of things are possible. Age is but a number. I feel young and able and willing to go on working with this group.”
The 64 –year old, who was employed by the Nigeria Football Federation 15 months ago, has played 10 matches, winning six and losing only one against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in Uyo, at the start of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in June 2017.
“That match was a big wake –up call for us. Now that we have the World Cup ticket, we will go all out for the AFCON ticket and get it,” Rohr said.
His victories include a 1-0 defeat of Tanzania in Uyo in September 2016; 2-1 defeat of Zambia in Ndola in October 2016 at the start of the 2018 World Cup race; a 3-1 defeat of Algeria in Uyo in November 2016; a 3-0 defeat of Togo in a friendly match in Paris in June 2017; a 4-0 bashing of Cameroon in Uyo in September 2017 and; a 1-0 defeat of Zambia in Uyo in October 2017 which guaranteed the World Cup ticket.