October 17, 2021

‘No new players to be invited for World Cup qualifiers’ – Super Eagles coach Rohr

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The German coach is looking forward to the upcoming World Cup qualifying fixtures after a successful Afcon qualifying campaign

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr said he is not expecting any new players in his team when the Super Eagles start their 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying campaign in June,

The three-time African champions rounded up their qualification campaign for next year’s continental tournament with a 3-0 win at Teslim Balogun Stadium, thanks to strikes from Victor Osimhen, Oghenekaro Etebo and Paul Onuachu.

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,” Rohr told the media.

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

“The Afcon qualifiers is over and we need to get the same result like in the World Cup qualifiers. We need to continue doing our job – the officials.

“We thank Nigerians for their support even after the two draws (vs Sierra Leone). We had a lot of injuries and we saw three players in the first-leg in Benin City who went off in an ambulance – Osimhen, Balogun and Musa.

“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 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.”