Russia 2018

Rohr rules out bringing in new players to squad, insists current players have proven quality

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has ruled out the possibility of bringing in new players to the squad ahead the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. 

The Franco-German coach revealed that he is poised to stick to the bulk of the players that secures the qualification berth to the Mundial.


“We have built a good environment for the team and I believe all the players gave everything to secure the ticket to Russia,” Rohr told BBC Sport.

With first-choice goalkeeper Carl Ikeme undergoing treatment for leukemia, the Nigerian team has witnessed a crisis in the goalkeeping department. Despite this, Rohr is adamant that the core squad players have done enough to deserve a place in the team thus, there is no need for an addition.

“It looks very impossible to get Carl Ikeme to play in Russia, but Ikechukwu Ezenwa showed in big matches so far that he can be in goal.

“The young boy Uzoho had a great game against Argentina so I’ve sent the goalkeeper trainer to continue to provide support for this boy in Spain.

“We are not limited as we also have other goalkeepers like Akpeyi, Ajiboye and Alampasu in the team, so I believe we are fine.”

Despite solicitations for a recall of veteran players that have once played for the team, the 64-year-old gaffer insists that his team has a good blend of youth and experience with the required quality for the global football fiesta.

“You have to respect what the former players have done in the past but be careful that you don’t try to bring them back because people think so,” said Rohr.

“We have big experience in captain [John] Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and our left back Elderson who is now playing in Belgium.

“If we feel the need to strengthen this squad we know what to do because for nearly two years now we’ve had a good atmosphere so far. Another good news is that the young striker in Wolfsburg [Victor] Osimhen is also playing now.

“I will make the [provisional] squad based on this group and also give one of the CHAN boys a chance as well.

“We can’t just keep bringing in player after player when you already have those who have proven that they can do the job,” Rohr added.

Rohr will release the squad list of the players called up to camp to execute Nigeria’s forthcoming friendly games against Poland and Serbia.

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