Gernot Rohr, coach of Nigeria
Tuesday Jun 25, 2019. 10:00
Nigeria national team manager Gernot Rohr has praised the improvement of defender Ola Aina ahead of their next Africa Cup of Nations assignment.
The Torino defender, who is playing in his first major international tournament, put in his best display for the Super Eagles in their 1-0 win over Burundi in Alexandria on Saturday night.
Not only was the 22-year-old defensively sound against the speedy and dangerous attackers of the Swallows, he also provided the assist for the only goal of the game, teeing up Odion Ighalo with a no-look back-heel.
Rohr also praised the versatility of the former England youth international player, underlining how it allows his line-up tactical flexibility.
“Ola Aina has improved really well. That’s why we tell our players to go to teams where they will play and get better,'' Rohr said of the defender who has spent much of his senior club career on Chelsea’s books but gaining experience in loan spells.
“He is a different player entirely, his presence gives us another option when we play with three at the back as he can play as a wing-back.”
Nigeria will resume their 2019 AFCON campaign with a clash against fellow West Africans Guinea on Wednesday afternoon in Alexandria.