No new players for 2022 qualifiers – Gernot Rohr

No new players for 2022 qualifiers – Gernot Rohr
Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr during a training session

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday Apr 04, 2021. 09:00

Nigeria national team manager Gernot Rohr has explained that he has no plans to incorporate any new players into his squad for the start of 2022 World Cup qualifiers later this year.

The Super Eagles recently wrapped up a successful Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign with a comfortable 3-0 home win over Lesotho thanks to strikes from Victor Osimhen, Oghenekaro Etebo and Paul Onuachu.

The next goal for the West African heavyweights is reaching the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with June bringing the start of a Group C campaign against Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia.

But any hope players on the fringe of the Super Eagles squad have of breaking into Rohr’s consideration appear to be on the back burner, with the tactician insisting that he will stick with the tried and tested for now at least.

“The World Cup qualifiers will start soon and I think we will be able to do well, and we should expect good football again on a good pitch,” Rohr is quoted by VON.

“We can’t try new players now, it is too late and it is getting more serious because it is World Cup qualifiers.”

He added, “The AFCON qualifiers are over and we need to get the same result as in the World Cup qualifiers. We need to continue doing our job. We thank Nigerians for their support.

“The record of our results is very good and I know we are unbeaten in all our away games in the qualifiers. It is a nice one and we have to continue to always be the best but sometimes we cannot always win all matches.”

Enyimba’s Anayo Iwuala was the only fresh face who had playing time in the recent AFCON qualifiers. Locally-based John Noble and Adeleke Adekunle were unused squad members despite being regulars for their clubs, while veteran Ahmed Musa – who has not played a competitive match in months – was a substitute against Lesotho.

Rohr defended his decision of selecting Musa, who is currently a free agent: “He has good fitness and there was no reason not to allow him to come on to play for the team. He is the captain of the team and we want to help him find a good club now.”

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