March 22, 2023

Rohr shifts focus to World Cup qualifiers

July 6, 2021
Gernot Rohr

Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr, has hinted he could include Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) players in his squad for their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers which will begin in September.

He was on the bench as the home-based players suffered a 4-0 defeat to Mexico in an international friendly game in the early hours of Sunday in USA.

Despite the disappointing score, Rohr commended the NPFL stars for their efforts in Los Angeles and he is looking forward to working with some of them in his regular team during the next window.

“Mexico is number 11 in the world and they showed why,” the former Bordeaux manager told NFF media. “Our young team is the best professional players from Nigeria playing at home. They tried too so well, they learnt a lot and I saw some interesting players who could be part of the next World Cup qualifiers in September.

“This match today, we learnt a lot and that’s why we are happy to see this match in these conditions like a normal football game.”

After qualifying for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, the Super Eagles have their sights set on the World Cup in Qatar next year.

Rohr concluded that the friendly against Mexico came as a good lesson for the home-based players who could play a part in their qualifying campaign to the global competition.

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“In September we will have the World Cup qualifiers and we will start at home against Liberia on the third in Lagos and few days later we will go to Cape Verde for the second game,” he added.

“We have a group of four teams and we have to finish first in this group and then progress to the play-off where we will play against any team from the other nine groups.

“It is a long way to the World Cup but today’s match has given me the idea of some of the local players that can be part of some of these big games.

“We want to qualify for the World Cup like the last time and then meet teams like Mexico who showed how good they are with their movement, speed, fitness and technique. So it was a good lesson for our local players today and I think that Mexico are one of the favourites for the Gold Cup.”

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