Technical adviser of the Nigeria’s Super Eagles Gernot Rohr has said he is confident about the ability of the crop of players present in his team.
The soft-spoken gaffer spoke to English media outlet the set pieces on Friday morning as he continued his monitoring and scouting of player ahead of the world cup in Russia.
Rohr explained that the age of the Super Eagles will not affect their performance, but it will rather work in their advantage.
“It could be a disadvantage if you don’t start well in the first game and they become nervous,” says the German of his players. “But we have a good cocktail between the experience and the youthfulness of our players and I didn’t see any problems in the qualifiers. No, all was OK, but the World Cup is different. You never know what can happen. But I believe in my team. They are young; they are the youngest one of the 32 teams.”
Rohr also took his time to take a retrospective look at the match Nigeria played against their counterparts from Argentina and also debunked insinuations the absence of Lionel Messi gave Nigeria the victory.
“We were lucky because they led 2-0 and we won 4-2 without Messi, but we didn’t have Victor Moses also,” says Rohr. “And Messi doesn’t play in defence. So, yes it was a nice victory and it’s perhaps now a disadvantage for us because they will not underestimate Nigeria.”
He praised the Super Eagles 1994 squad and admitted they had big stars compared to what he has now. He recognized skipper Mikel Obi as the biggest star in the team.
“They had so many good players!” exclaims Rohr and the difference is that our team now isn’t made of very, very big stars. We have one star: it’s Obi Mikel, of course. Perhaps we also have a second star, Victor Moses, but they are collective football players, not individuals. That is why, I think, we have a team about whom you cannot say this one player will make the difference, like Kanu or Okocha. We have a collective team.”
Nigeria is grouped alongside Argentina, Croatia and Iceland, with the opening game against Croatia on June 16 at Kilingrad.