Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has expressed his happiness at the healthy competition for places among the Nigerian senior national team players ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations slated for Egypt in June.
The Eagles defeated the Pharaohs of Egypt 1-0 through the early minutenstrike of Paul Onuachu on Tuesday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba in an international friendly tie barely four days after the team qualification for the AFCON as Group E winners and Rohr disclosed that he was delighted with the overall contributions of his players as the preparations for the 32nd edition of AFCON intensifies.
He praised the tenacity of the Eagles defenders especially in the second half when the pressure of the visitors was very intense while
he also hailed the teamwork that led to Nigeria’s only goal in the game with the Egyptian national team.
“It was because Egypt were down by 1-0 that they had to come at us in the second half thinking that they would get the equaliser,” Rohr told the media.
“We decided to be well organized in the midfield and the defence. We brought in another goalkeeper and so we must make sure he was well protected in such a difficult match. The defence did so well for him.
“There are competitions for places now in the team which is good for the team. It was true that our first half performance was better but finally what we wanted today was another victory which we won. We have remained unbeaten since the end of the last World Cup and it is very good for the confidence of the players ahead of the AFCON.”
Rohr confessed that the Eagles still have a lot of work to do before they can be a serious contender for during the AFCON in June but warned that they will be a lot better if players like Ola Aina, Samuel Kalu, Ahmed Musa and others return to the team during the AFCON build-up.
“We still have a lot of work to do to improve the team in all departments,” Rohr added.
“We have to improve everywhere and we must play in Egypt as if we are not in the first pot. We must be better than what we are at present.
“We are missing the services of Ola Aina, Samuel Kalu, Ahmed Musa and others.”