By Joe Apu
Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr in his effort to keep a crack squad for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup in the summer has called on bench warming forwards Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa to take the opportunity of the January window and move or forget being a part of the World Cup.
Rohr, while speaking on Monday night football, a programme on Supersport expressed his worry over their lack of playing time in their club in the English Premier League.
“I’m in touch with the players and I’m particularly worried that Iheanacho and Musa are not playing regularly. The January window provides them a good opportunity to make a move and I hope in the days to come we’ll hear some news from them. It is important they move because they need to be active. The Super Eagles needs her best legs in Russia.”
World Cup Camp and international friendly matches
We have been able to pick a very conducive camp for the Super Eagles in the Southern part of Russia. It’s a place that has good weather conditions in the summer. Denmark wanted the place but we got it before them and I’m happy with the choice of the Nigeria Football Federation.
Nigeria is the last team in the group and I believe that the onus lies on us to make an impact at the World Cup. To be ready for the mundial, we need to play quality friendly international matches. We have to play more European teams to get ready. On March 23rd , we play against Poland and on the 27th, we play another team that has the same style of play like Russia and Iceland.
Goalkeeping problems and injuries
We have had problems in the past and have solved it. There would also be answers as we progress. Unfortunately, Carl Ikeme had health issues and Vincent Enyeama quit the national team. We had Ikechukwu Ezenwa who has not done badly. He was great in the WAFU Cup. There has also been the coming of Francis Ozoho in Deportivo La Corona. He was exciting in the friendly against Argentina and we have sent a trainer to be working with him in Spain.
I also hope that Henry Onyekuru who would be undergoing a knee surgery would be back in time for the World Cup.
Why I’m not coaching CHAN team
I have my assistants – Coaches Salisu Yusuf, Imama Amakapabo and Alloy Agu. They know the players well and I have confidence in them. The CHAN team did well with them during WAFU Cup. The CHAN 2018 in Morocco is another opportunity for the team to show what they have. I will be there before their first game but let me state that Yusuf is in charge. There will be many scouts from around the world in Morocco to see players and for those who excel, they would have an opportunity to improve their careers.
The CHAN Eagles had difficult times training preparing for the championship but I would suggest that the league is reorganized to enable the players get ready for championships like this.