Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, admitted Monday night in Port Harcourt that heâ€™s yet to have the type of fullbacks he desires ahead of the World Cup in Russia starting in barely two weeks from today.
Speaking shortly after Eagles were forced to a 1-1 draw at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt, the Franco-German coach admitted his fullbacks struggled against DR Congo and that he will need to work on this problem.
After central defender, William Troost-Ekong had fired Eagles into lead from a loose ball in the Congolese box and Nigeria hanged on the lead till the end of the first half, Eagles came back from break struggling to contain the visitors with the fullbacks the most troubled spots.
Tyronne Ebuehi manned the right back with Elderson Echiejile on the left. And on several occasions, the Leopards from Congo had easy penetrations, most especially from the left where Echiejile was on duty.
Even when Ola Aina came in as substitute for Echiejile and Ebuehi later give way to Shehu Abdullahi , the problems persisted with either Leon Balogun or Ekong falling back for support. Ola Aina was culpable for the penalty, which led to the DR Congo equaliser.
â€œWe have some problems with our fullbacks, but we will work on this. We have a few days to be ready,â€ Rohr revealed as he fielded questions on the sideline on Monday night.
The other fullback on the squad is Russia-based Brian Idowu.
Rohr further said he will only take four fullbacks to Russia. â€œWe have five fullbacks, we can only take four to World Cup,â€ he said.
Despite the problems with the fullbacks and the draw with Congo, the Eagles supremo praised his wards for the quality they displayed in their last match in the country before heading out to England this afternoon.
â€œIt was a very good match because we played against a very good Congolese team that came with good players. It wasnâ€™t easy game for us as we had to rest some top players and use the match to try out some of our new players. We really didnâ€™t want to take the risk of playing some of our key players for fear of injuries. True we didnâ€™t win the match but it was good for everybody in the team,â€ stressed the gaffer.
Rohr singled out Simeon Nwankwo as displaying the quality of a centre forward that has been lacking in the team. â€œUntil now, we didnâ€™t have a centre forward in the real sense until we found one in him.â€
He however assured Nigerian football followers that the friendly against England will be a better match as he was going to have full complement of players like Odion Ighalo, Victor Moses, John Mikel Obi, etc who did not take part in the Monday clash with Congo.