Rohr promises to make Nigeria African champions again
Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr, has explained that he made sacrifices in his new contract with Nigeria in order to guide the country to a fourth Africa Cup of Nations triumph, reports AFP.
Rohr, 66, has extended his stay in Nigeria till 2022 after he agreed to a pay cut in the local currency and reside in the country. Officials said the German-born coach will earn $49,000 a month, instead of the $55,000 stipulated in his previous contract, and he will live in Nigeria for at least 10 months a year.
According to goal.com, Rohr said he has a free hand to select his players, insisting nobody can dictate to him on who to pick for national duty. He, however, revealed that he selects players in consultation with his assistants, which is strictly based on merit, explaining the best will always have a chance for the Super Eagles.
“This is a special job, because this is my team, I built it with my staff,” the former Niger and Gabon coach said yesterday, on local television.
“It is not a part of my contract to take players who are not so good. I can choose my players myself. It is the most important [thing]. So, nobody can tell me ‘you have to pick this one or that one,” Rohr said.
“I can take the best players and I don’t do it alone. We have a team and our staff. I have my assistant… I have my analyser.
“Each Monday, we have our meetings and we speak about the games played at the weekend and what our players did. We have to take the best ones no matter where they are coming from.”
“It’s a very young team, but the mission is not finished yet, so we want to continue.
“We all have to make sacrifices and I will be the first.” Rohr said the target is to be champions of Africa again. The Super Eagles have won the Africa Cup of Nations three times — in 1980, 1994 and 2013.
“Let’s qualify for (the Nations Cup) and then we want to win it,” he said.
“We have a good team, we’re now number three in Africa. When I arrived (in 2016), we were number 13.
“We have worked together for the past four years and I hope we can progress.”
Rohr led Nigeria to a third place at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations Finals in Egypt, where they lost 2-1 to eventual champions Algeria, in the semi-finals after conceding a stoppage-time goal.
His team top their qualifying group for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations slated for Cameroun with six points after winning their first two games against second-placed Benin and Lesotho, who are third. Sierra Leone are the other team in the group and are bottom, on a point.
The top two teams in the group will advance to the final tournament.In his four years in charge of the Super Eagles, Rohr has faced criticism for overlooking players based in Nigeria for those in Europe.
His employers have ordered him to now pick players from the domestic league, but Rohr has insisted only the best will make his squad. Before the outbreak of the coronavirus, Rohr handed an invitation to 23 players for the Super Eagles’ AFCON qualifying game against Sierra Leone, which was scheduled for March, before it was postponed.