Rohr makes U-turn on invitation of new players 

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Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr, say he is not expecting any new players in his team when Nigeria start the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign in June.

The three-time African champions rounded up their qualification campaign for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a 3-0 win at Teslim Balogun Stadium, thanks to strikes from Victor Osimhen, Oghenekaro Etebo and Paul Onuachu on Tuesday.

Next up is the second qualifying round for the biggest football competition in the world where they have been pitched against Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia in Group C.

The Super Eagles ended their AFCOn qualifiers with an unbeaten record after six matches and the former Gabon coach is hoping his team can continue the fine streak in two months’ time.

“The World Cup qualifiers will start soon and I think we will be able to do well, and we should expect good football again on a good pitch.”

“We can’t try new players now, it is too late and it is getting more serious because it is World Cup qualifiers,” Rohr said.

Rohr said; “The AFCON qualifiers are over and we need to get the same result as in the World Cup qualifiers. We need to continue doing our job. We thank Nigerians for their support.

“The record of our results is very good and I know we are unbeaten in all our away games in the qualifiers. It is a nice one and we have to continue to always be the best but sometimes we cannot always win all matches.”

Enyimba’s Anayo Iwuala was the only fresh face who played for the Super Eagles in the just-concluded international break while new invitees, goalkeeper John Noble and Abia Warriors’ Adeleke Adekunle, were unused substitutes.

Despite not playing a competitive match since November 2020, Ahmed Musa was introduced as a late substitute against Lesotho on Tuesday.

Rohr defended his decision of selecting the former Leicester City man, who is currently seeking a new club as a free agent.

The 67-year-old said: “He has good fitness and there was no reason not to allow him to come on to play for the team. He is the captain of the team and we want to help him find a good club now.”

 

NP/Mercy Chukwudiebere

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