AFCON 2019 QUALIFIER
Super Eagles Franco-German Coach, Gernot Rohr, insisted Thursday that the three-time African champions will need to show character and form in order to put Nigeria’s dream of qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) back on track.
Nigeria is going into the AFCON 2019 Match-day 2 qualifying round in third position of Group E. Eagles lost their opening game to South Africa in Uyo while Libya whitewashed Seychelles to take the driver’s seat of the
“Everyone realizes the importance of this match. We are currently number three in our group and that position does not befit Super Eagles of Nigeria. It is not good for us because it is outside the qualification range.
“The players know this. They know that on Saturday they have to show character to put our campaign back on track with a good result,” Rohr warned yesterday.
Seychelles is a leading tourist destination with plane-loads of fun seekers trooping in on daily basis to spend good time relaxing on any of the major islands in the 115 islands that make up the archipelago.
After the one-hour training session, attended by all 21 players available for the match slated for the Stade Linite on Saturday, Rohr made it clear his boys are not vacationers looking for relaxation.
“We are not here on vacation. We are here for serious business.”
Instead of taking the hosts for granted, Rohr stressed that the Pirates will not be taken for granted as any slip could be very costly to Nigeria’s ambition at the moment.
“We have a young, ambitious team and Nigeria has a better pedigree in the game of football than Seychelles. But we must not under-rate them in any way or take things for granted.
Rather than sulk over the inability of the Super Eagles to progress beyond the group stage of the World Cup in Russia, Rohr believes the lessons learnt at the Mundial ought to help Nigeria become a better team.
“The World Cup is behind us now, but we must allow the lessons we learnt in Russia to make us better and more efficient in our approach.
“The Cup of Nations is the focus now and we must get a good result on Saturday to get our campaign back, and then we can now look ahead with determination to win the remaining matches in our group to qualify easily for the championship.”
Saturday’s Group E tie, which is one of the Match day 2 fixtures happening across the African continent, will start at 4.30pm Seychelles time (1.30pm Nigeria time) at the 10,000-capacity Stade Linite in Victoria on Mahe Island.