Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr addressed the media yesterday, ahead of his team’s AFCON 2019 round of 16 encounter against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon today, at the Alexandria Stadium.
This is definitely the biggest test for the Super Eagles in this competition (playing against Cameroon). How ready are you and the players?
Yes it is. Cameroon is one of the best teams in this competition. We have prepared well for this game. Physically and mentally, we are ready for the game.
Now it us up to the players to prove that what happened against Madagascar in the last game was just an accident. It is another opportunity for them to show they are ready to win this competition. I want to see the players have fun on the pitch too.
Now, a new tournament is beginning with the Round of 16 matches. There is little room for mistakes now. We have to fight well to progress.
Your team started the competition with two wins against Burundi and Guinea, but shockingly lost the third against Madagascar. What do you think went wrong in that game?
Madagascar (match) was special because we had already qualified and maybe it affected the players subconsciously. We have to forgive the players for the individual mistakes. Even if when we told them to give their all, within them they might believe we have already qualified, why bother again?
We have to forgive the players that made mistakes. Balogun made mistakes against Madagascar. Kenneth did the same in our friendly against Senegal. Everything is in the past now.
We are all together. We score goals together, and win together as well..
What update do you have on the injury front?
Jamilu Collins is ready to play now but I can’t say say if he will start against Cameroon or be on the bench. Our captain, John Mikel Obi is injured and will not play tomorrow. Shehu Abdullahi is still recovering and is out too.
How much have you worked to resolve the Super Eagles’ scoring problems, having hit the back of the net only twice in this competition?
Yeah, it is true we have scored twice, but we have a good defence and good attackers. who can make a difference.
Everyone took penalties in training yesterday. You have to work on all situations. We have put our physical problems behind us and totally re ady for this game.
Having played all your matches in Alexandria since the start of the competition, do you feel like the city is the Super Eagles’ home now?
We feel at home in Alexandria after playing all our (previous) games here. Our regret will be to leave here, but I hope we win tomorrow so that we can continue in Cairo. We have enjoyed our stay at the Palestine hotel.
The training ground here too is good. I told our kit man to give t-shirts to the groundsmen to show appreciation for the good job they have done.
What are your thoughts on the Cameroon team?
We have seen Cameroon play with different formations. It is difficult to say how they will play against us. We will play our football and show our strengths as well.
There are reports indicating that you will be sacked no matter what happened to the Super Eagles in this competition. What’s is your response to that?
I have heard rumours concerning my job, but I don’t pay attention to them. I hope to do well here and then after this tournament, I’ll address my future.