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Expect tough battle with South Africa, Rohr tells Eagles

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“The game will be difficult. It will be a big challenge to beat the South Africans. It will be difficult with the young players that we have. Our captain, Mikel Obi and our first choice goalkeeper are out of the match,” he said.

• Players not interested in injury stories from Bafana camp

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr is of no illusion that Saturday’s African Nations Cup qualifier against South Africa will be an easy task. The Franco-German, who pointed at the fact that the Bafana Bafana has not lost any of their matches in the last two years, posits that Saturday’s encounter may be a little difficult.

Speaking at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo after his team’s first training session yesterday, Rohr, however, assured that his team would live up to the bidding.

“The game will be difficult. It will be a big challenge to beat the South Africans. It will be difficult with the young players that we have. Our captain, Mikel Obi and our first choice goalkeeper are out of the match,” he said.

Also speaking on the game, Team Captain, Ogenyi Onazi said the Eagles were working hard to win the match, stressing that the memory of 2015 AFCON miss was still fresh in their mind.

“We expect to win the game. We know what happened here in Uyo during AFCON qualifiers 2015 with the South African team. It is not going to be a do or die affair but we are here to make up for the past,” he said.

Reflecting on the introduction of new players in the Eagles, Onazi said both the old and new have adjusted to the team’s pattern, as they are all professionals. Meanwhile, the players have said they are not distracted by the reported injury problems in the South African camp.

Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye disclosed that the players, who could not make it to France, have gradually understood the game plan of the coach. He enjoined Nigerians to support and encourage the players, assuring that all hands were on deck to ensure the Eagles claimed the three points in Uyo.

“We are not concerned by any strategy South Africa will deploy for the game. Rohr has assured that he will assemble a formidable team for the game. We are not concerned by anything that happens in our opponents’ camp.

“The Eagles coach would be having a conference on Thursday to let Nigerians know of his plans for the game.” He revealed that by yesterday morning’s training only three players has not arrived, adding that the team had a full squad in the evening.

The match in Uyo is the first Group E match of AFCON 2019 qualifiers with the Eagles also expected to take on Libya and Seychelles.



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