Rohr anticipates selection headache ahead of Sierra Leone clash

Published on: 14 October 2020

Head coach of Nigerian senior National team Gernot Rohr has disclosed how tough it will be for him to pick a team for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualification against the Leone Stars

Nigeria’s international friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia will give Gernot Rohr selection headaches ahead of November’s Africa Cup of Nations qualification double-header against Sierra Leone.

The Super Eagles bowed 1-0 to the reigning African champions in their first game before settling for a 1-1 draw with the Carthage Eagles on Tuesday.

In the absence of the likes of Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi, Rangers’ Joe Aribo, Galatasaray's Peter Etebo and goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, the games played in Austria gave the German tactician a chance to try new legs.

Assessing his team’s performance, the former Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso handler was impressed with their performance, albeit, felt the results could have been better.

His team will try the Leone Stars for size in next month’s qualifiers en route Cameroon 2022, and he disclosed it will be difficult picking a squad for the game owing to the inspiring performances of the "new boys".

“We are happy to have had this opportunity to be camped in Austria for 10 days.  It was a very good feeling to be together again after being away for 11 months, although we missed some key players,” he told the NFF media.

“The two friendly games we played were very good competitive games. Algeria and Tunisia are very good teams.

“Indeed, the results could have been better. We could have picked up a draw against Algeria and a win against Tunisia.

"We have some positives to pick out from the games because in spite of missing some key players we still competed well.

“Now, it is going to be difficult for me to pick our list for the Afcon qualifiers next month because of the new boys who did well.

“I believe these very good friendly games will help us to return to winning ways when we play Sierra Leone next month. Good results next month may see us qualifying for the 2022 Afcon already."

Thanks to victories over Benin Republic and Lesotho, the three-time African champions currently lead Group L having accrued six points.

Nigeria finished third at the 2019 edition of the biennial competition staged in Egypt – defeating Tunisia 1-0 in the third-place play-off courtesy of Odion Ighalo’s first-half strike.