By Johnny Edward in Uyo:
Adel Amrouche resignation as the manager of the Libyan national team will not swing to the Super Eagles’ favour in their Saturday’s 2019 African Cup Of Nations qualiying match in Uyo, but will make the encounter tougher, Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has stated in clear terms, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Rohr admits he is wary of the threat the Libyans pose to his side’s chances of qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup Of Nations tournament in Cameroon.
The three-time African champions have missed the last two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations.
“His (Amrouche) exit has not changed anything. We have seen the team on video. They played very well against South Africa and during the World Cup qualifiers as well. The team still have the same players,” Rohr told Completesportsnigeria.com after the Super Eagles’ fourth training session at the practice pitch of the Akwa Ibom International Stadium.
“The coach can be changed, but the assistants are still there with the same set of players. It’s not going to be an easy game because of this. Sometimes its even difficult when a new coach comes in.
“Because everyone want to show what they can do. We are preparing well for our game. We know they have a very good defence and defensive organisations and they play good counter-attacks also, but we are happy to play in Uyo on this pitch.
“We lost our first game against South Africa which means we have to win and there’s no doubt we have to go out to win the game, but we have to be careful because they are strong on the counter attacks.”
On his side’s training session on Wednesday evening, the German tactician said: “It was a good training session today. Fresh air good pitch it was the fourth training session because we started with all the players on Monday and we had two sessions yesterday around the golf resort.
“We had a good place to play and check how fit the player are. Tomorrow ( Thursday) we will start tactical preparation for this difficult game against Libya.”
Rohr also reveals that his captain John Mikel Obi was excused due to his fitness level.
Mikel is yet to play for the Super Eagles since the team’s first-round exit at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“He asked to be excluded because he is not fully fit physically. The day he is fit physically and he is playing regularly for his club he will return,” Rohr explained.
“I hope soon and the only problem is that he needs to recover well. He is with us in the heart. He will return for the game against South Africa.”
Rohr would also speak on the prospect of playing under the a rainy condition in Uyo come Saturday.
“We have lots of European players in the team, only one playing in Nigeria. And they are used to playing under such conditions the training pitch is good and I believe the turf also is in good condition. I want to thank the governor of Uyo for receiving us again. Uyo is our home. We have good feeling with the Uyo fans.
Rohr admits that the return Shehu Abdulahi, Alex Iwobi, Isaac Success and Moses Simon has further given him a selection headache ahead of the double-header against Libya.
The quartet missed the Super Eagles’ last game against Seychelles due to injuries.
“We have a big choice to make with the return of Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon and Isaac Success. It’s going to be tough as only 11 players can play and 18 can be dressed for the game from the pool of 24. But we will see after the tactical sessions – we will have from tomorrow to see the fittest ones to start.”