WORLD CUP 2018 QUALIFIER
With Zambia breathing down the neck of Nigeria after claiming a famous 1-0 away victory against Algeria in Constantine on Tuesday night to move up to seven points, Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, insisted thursday that there is no need for panic among football fans in the country.
The Franco-German coach who watched the proceedings of the game on television in Abuja after returning from Yaounde where his wards were forced to a one-all draw by the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, told AOIFootball.com yesterday that he’s not under any pressure because of the three points picked by the Southern African country.
“I am not under any pressure at all. I watched the game yesterday night (Tuesday) and I am very confident the Zambian’s will fall when they come to Nigeria,” observed the gaffer who is determined to lead Nigeria to the World Cup in Russia next year.
Rohr further revealed that he has no plan to change his winning team going into the crucial encounter with the Zambians on October 7 in Uyo.
“I will stick to the same tactics that saw us (Nigeria) see off Cameroon. I see no reason to change a winning team as the boys were fantastic and we must continue to work well as a team to ensure we have a proper team ahead of the World Cup in Russia next year,” hinted the Eagles supremo.
He admitted that he is very happy with the support Nigerians showed his team during the last round of matches of the Group B qualifying series.
Rohr urged all football-loving Nigerians to continue to support the Super Eagles in good and bad times, as he bids to build a formidable team capable of conquering not just Africa, but the world.
Meanwhile, Head Coach of Algeria national team, Lucas Alcaraz, believes Nigeria will definitely pick the sole Group B ticket to Russia in 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Algeria lost the first of their double header 1-3 in Zambia on Saturday, before the Chipolopolo ended the undefeated home streak of the Algerians since 2006 with a 0-1 win in Algiers to get into contention for a maiden World Cup qualification battle with Nigeria.
But in his post match conference, Alcaraz believes Nigeria has the momentum to reach the World Cup in Russia next year.
”Zambia has a balanced squad with a blend of youngsters but I don’t think they can make it for the World Cup in Russia,” Alcaraz said in a report captured by Zambia’s Daily Mail wednesday.
The former Granada of Spain coach seems to toe the line of Cameroon coach, Hugo Broos, who surrendered to the Super Eagles after the 4-0 demolition of the Lions in Uyo.
”I know it was an interesting result in Cameroon, which gives hope to other teams, but still the momentum is with Nigeria. Alcarez continued.
The Spanish coach who replaced Belgian Georges Leekens earlier this year, however advised the Zambians to build for the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualification
”Zambian coach (Wedson Nyirenda) has a good team but I think he should concentrate on building a strong team with the focus on qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
”I believe the Qatar target is attainable if they can maintain the same performance, ” Alcarez concluded.
Nigeria on ten points from four games lead the Chipolopolo on three points. Both Cameroon and Algeria with on three points and one respectively have crashed out of contention for the sole group ticket.