Nigeria head coach, Gernot Rohr, has said that the Super Eagles have what it takes to reach the last eight of the FIFA World Cup in 2022, but admits the team must continue to work harder.
Rohr was appointed in 2016 after the Super Eagles failed to qualify for back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
However, the German tactician was able to help the West African giants qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and also finished third at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.
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Rohr later signed a new deal with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) that will see remain in charge of the team for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and one of the targets set for him, is taking the three-time African champions beyond the round of 16.
“We’ll take it one step at a time. First, we need to qualify, and if we do that, we’ll look at our group at the finals. We’ll try to progress to the knockout stage, which we got very close to two years ago. We have to work hard to achieve that,” Rohr told FIFA.com.
Rohr stated that he will be a lot happier if fans returned to the stadium to cheer the Super Eagles all the way to Qatar 2022.
The Eagles are drawn in Group C along with Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia with the overall winners advancing to a final eliminator against another group winner.
“There will be fierce competition regardless, but when we play without fans we’ll miss the excitement. I hope fans can attend games next year as this will make the matches more enjoyable,” Rohr told FIFA.com.
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“I also hope life will go back to normal so that fans can travel and attend matches, which will in turn bring football back to life.”
He also spoke of the Super Eagles chances in their qualifying group.
“We have three opponents in the group and have to respect all of them,” he began.
“Liberia are a team that can’t be underestimated as we saw when we beat them in a friendly.
“As for Cape Verde, they have players of Portuguese and Brazilian origin, and they can beat any team.
“Central African Republic are an unknown quantity for us, which makes it more difficult.
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“I think the group is tough, but we believe in our capabilities.
“Given that we qualified from the group of death for Russia 2018, we’re confident we can make it this time as well.”