Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has said that his target for the 2019 African Nations Cup is at least to reach the semi-final of the tournament.
The Franco-German tactician, who has just qualified Nigeria for the Nations Cup with a match left just as he did for the Russia 2018 World Cup was the special guest at a Sports Editors’ Roundtable, tagged ‘Peak Breakfast with Rohr,’ held in Lagos on Friday.
Organised by HS Media Group, owners of the HotSports brand and sponsored by Friesland Campina, makers of Peak Milk, the official Milk of Super Eagles, the event was an interactive session between Sports Editors of selected national dailies, broadcast and online media organisations on current issues in Nigerian football.
While speaking on the programme streamed live from the HS Media’s Studio to a global audience via YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, Rohr avoided making a categorical statement of winning the 2019 AFCON in Cameroon.
The Coach maintained, “…it is the dream of every team at the competition to win the title, but it will not make much a sense to make a promise because other teams are also in the tournament to win.
“We have a good chance to get to the semi-final at the 2019 AFCON but we can’t be sure to win. It’s a young team, we should be realistic but once we reach the semi-final then winning the title is no longer far from us,” he continued.
When asked the team he would like to avoid in Cameroon 2019, he said he was happy Zambia did not qualify for the tournament because they are one of the strongest team in the continent.
The Franco-German is also praying to avoid Cameroon, the host nation when the draws of the continental tournament holds next year.
Speaking on his team captain, John Mikel Obi who is yet to play for the team after the Russia 2018 World Cup, Rohr said: “Mikel told me after the World Cup that he wants to take a break and after then he also had an injury that was why he was not invited to the squad.
“However, he is still the team’s captain and once he is ready to come back, he will still have a place in the team,” he added.
Rohr also seized the opportunity of the interactive session to clear the air on his perceived apathy against players of the Nigerian Professional Football League, saying poor organization of the league and lack of adequate training facilities are reasons home based players find it difficult to break into his team.
The well attended session is a regular feature in the series of the media event which has in the last ten years featured national team coaches such as the late Amodu Shuaibu, who qualified Nigeria for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Samson Siasia and late Stephen Keshi, who won the African Nations Cup in South Africa in 2013.