Gernot Rohr Confident of Keeping Up Form Despite Lack of AFCON Experience
Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says that he is optimistic that the team will maintain their form in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
There are doubts as to whether Nigeria will suffer from their lack of participation at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. The last competitive action for Nigeria was back in November. Since then, they have not played any game, while the major group opponents like Algeria and Cameroon have been involved in the Africa Cup of Nations. In fact, Cameroon went on to lift the title in what is seen as a major boost for the national team.
Rohr says that the lack of participation at the Africa Cup of Nations is unlikely to be a deterrent factor. Nigeria started the qualification campaign in positive fashion after managing wins from the opening two matches. The 2-1 win over Zambia and the 3-1 win over Algeria have helped them establish a four-point advantage over second placed Cameroon.
However, the game against the reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions will be the biggest for the team. Nigeria do not face Cameroon until August.Rohr claimed that the hunger and the youth of the team will be two aspects that will help Nigeria remain in great shape even when they have not been involved in competitive action for a long time.
“We are in good position to qualify. I don’t think our not participating in the AFCON will have effects on the team. I sincerely believe we will do everything possible to qualify for the World Cup going by the commitment of the players.We have a good captain with experience, we have found some defenders to make us stronger at the back and I think the spirit and harmony of the team is very good. But we know the important times come now,” said Rohr.