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No Plan to Sack Rohr, Says Pinnick
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has insisted there is no plan to sack Coach Gernot Rohr despite mounting pressure.
Rohr has faced scrutiny following a run of four games without a win and more criticism followed after the Super Eagles let a 4-0 lead slip at home as Sierra Leone fought back to draw 4-4 in their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
It further increased after the country’s sports minister Sunday Dare took to social media to question the ‘suitability and competence’ of the coach on the back of the 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture.
“Nobody is happy about what happened against Sierra Leone in both matches,” Pinnick told BBC Sport Africa
“But it is not enough to sack the coach because his team is still top of the Nations Cup group after four matches.
“His statistics speaks volume for him, so on what indexes do we want to sack him considering the contract recently signed by both parties.
“No matter how emotional and disappointed the fans are, there’s no basis to sack him now and he deserves to keep his job.”
Rohr took charge of the three-time African champions in August 2016 and led them to a third place finish at the 2019 African Cup of Nations – after the team had missed back to back tournaments in 2015 and 2017.
But he has faced unrelenting criticism over tactics and choice of players from the local media, former players and disappointed fans.
However, Pinnick has backed the German to lead the West African nation to the delayed continental showpiece event in 2022 and the World Cup in Qatar same year, as agreed in his recently extended two-year contract.
“When you look at his performance, where he has won 29 matches, drew 14 and lost 10, you can say that is enough to back him,” said Pinnick.
“Yes, the performance in the last two games has not gone down well with some people, but we need to be professional, honest and respectful in how we analyse things.”
Interestingly, Rohr has been widely credited with assembling a young team made up of players who had previously represented their country of birth at age-group levels.
Yet his critics argued that obsession ‘with foreign-born players’ has led to his decision to overlook players from the domestic league in his squad.
Rohr’s defence is that Nigeria’s best players are based in Europe and he would always pick local players good enough to compete at international level.