Despite the outrage in some quarters over the uncoordinated play of the Super Eagles in the two international friendlies against African champions Algeria and the continent’s second-ranked team Tunisia, Head Coach Gernot Rohr appears unfazed by those criticizing his team’s outing in Austria.
Nigeria lost 1-0 to the Fennecs of Algeria last Friday while the Tunisians fought back to tie the clash with Super Eagles 1-1 on Tuesday.
In both games, Rohr used six uncapped players in the absence of key men like Victor Osimhen, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Joe Aribo and goalkeeper Francis Uzoho.
But speaking on the team’s official twitter handle @NGSuperEagles yesterday, Rohr insisted Nigeria played very good competitive games.
“The two friendly games we played were very good competitive games. Algeria and Tunisia are very good teams.
“Indeed, the results could have been better. We could have picked up a draw against Algeria and a win against Tunisia,” begins the Franco-German gaffer who a section of the Nigerian media berated for his strange, conservative tactics in Austria.
Rohr insisted that even in the absence of key players, the team was able to hold its ground against the two top teams from North Africa.
“We have some positives to pick out from the games because in spite of missing some key players we still competed well.
Now, with the likes of Maduka Okoye doing very well in goal, Zaidu Sanusi holding his ground in the left back and Kevin Akpoguma capable of playing anywhere in the back four, Rohr said he’s likely to face selection worries ahead of the AFCON 2022 double header qualifier against Sierra Leone next month.
“Now, it is going to be difficult for me to pick our list for the AFCON qualifiers next month because of the new boys who did well.
“I believe these very good friendly games will help us to return to winning ways when we play Sierra Leone next month. Good results next month may see us qualifying for the 2022 AFCON already,” observed the coach who has already spent four years on the Eagles job in Nigeria.
Super Eagles are leading the Group L pairing with Sierra Leone, Benin Republic and Lesotho on six points.