By Richard Jideaka in Abuja:
Nigeria coach, Gernot Rohr, has hinted Completesportsnigeria.com that he would like his Super Eagles to avoid ‘group of death’ when the draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup holds at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 1 2017.
Rohr has been nursing a lofty World Cup target since the the Super Eagles booked their slot at Russia 2018 after beating the Chipolopolo of Zambia 1-0 in the matchday-5 of the African qualifiers Group B in Uyo. But the German prefers to start his World Cup glory chase from what he calls a ‘soft group’.
”My target is first to get drawn in a soft and not too difficult group, ” Rohr tells Completesportsnigeria.com when asked about his set target with the Super Eagles at the World Cup proper.
“The second target is to come out of the group. If we reach the last 16 which had been previously achieved, it will be wonderful.
“Let us see the draw first on December 1st, then we do an analysis and take it from there. We shall try to unify things by getting dedicated and committed players, not those who come to make money or other related things. My backroom staff are good, but I need another physiologist. We’ll camp for a period, then go for it.”
Rohr wants to put the Super Eagles through proper drilling ahead of their sixth World Cup appearance at Russia 2018. He believes the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF board understands the importance of providing the wherewithal to ensure adequate preparation for a World Cup bound team.
“If you have to do something well, you have to prepare well,” Rohr reiterates.
“If we get the best preparation without the African problems of no money, bonus and allowance, late planning and other related issues, we’ ll go to the world cup with big dreams.
“We don’t need distraction to succeed. I trust my president (Amaju Pinnick) to ensure that everything is in place before the World Cup”
Rohr wants to open his first World Cup build-up camp in Abuja as a way of appreciating the support of the football-loving Nigerians. He wants the fans to avail themselves with the opportunity of seeing their beloved team in training sessions and international friendly match before flying out to camp overseas with a final 23-man Super Eagles squad.
Rohr explains: “I think it’s sure we will start the first camp in Abuja. The first camping will be in the country’s capital. We must spend the first money in Nigeria to thank every body for support and their role in helping our qualification.
“I have told the NFF President about this, and to get us a friendly match to be played in Abuja, to show the fans the 23 players selected for the World Cup and to say good bye before leaving for Russia.”