Kayode Ogundare in Moscow: Nigeria’s preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup have effectively kicked off with the team’s Technical Adviser Gernot Rorh revealing that the coaching staff is already considering some venues to set up a pre-World Cup base camp in Russia, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
“We are searching for that (base camp) but we already have some ideas,” Rohr said here in Moscow after Friday’s draw placed his team in Group D with Iceland, Croatia and familiar foes Argentina.
“We only wanted to wait to see the draw and now that we have them, we will start preparing immediately. Our first match is in Volgograd and it will be good to make our camp in a place not too far from there but then we have to go to Kaliningrad which is the most western region of the country so you also have to consider that.
“It’s very important to have a good first game. And our final game will be in St Petersburg. Very nice stadium. It will be nice to play there. We are going to be looking at a place that’s conducive and also central to all three cities.”
The German-born tactician also talked about his team’s chances when hostilities start in Russia next year while acknowledging the fact that the Super Eagles had not gone beyond the second round stage after five previous attempts.
He said: “Well, it’s true that Nigeria have never gone beyond the second round in their World Cup history but this is also the youngest team in the history of Nigeria’s participation at the World Cup.
“Of the 32 teams we are the youngest so we have to learn humility first before setting targets. “We want to do well but we don’t want to get carried away. We qualified for the World Cup without losing a game but that should not make us complacent.
“If we have good preparations, we can go as far as possible. To your question, my first target is the first game against Croatia. We need a result in that game. After that, we face Iceland and then Argentina. We will aim to get out of the group first and then take it from there.”
He rounded off by harping on the need to ensure adequate preparation both physically and mentally before the team gets to Russia.