Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr has sent a passionate plea to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to get his team a “good pitch” for their important 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Libya in October.
Rohr was speaking with the official media channel of the senior national team after his wards defeated Seychelles in their second group E game in Victoria on Saturday. Nigeria scored two first half goals en route to a 3-0 win.
The three-time AFCON winners stay in third spot in the group and will face group leaders Libya in a double-header contest in October, the first instalment holding in Nigeria. Rohr believes his side can do the job with the provision of a “good, large pitch”.
“I don’t know where we will play because we need a good pitch, a large pitch, a good one where we can play our football against a team who got a good draw today in South Africa,” began the 65-year old German.
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“That’s why we need a good pitch to play our football, for our wingers, for our technical football, we need a good pitch. I hope that we will have it in Nigeria.”
“We are only one point behind and we are receiving them first so we have to win the game. In the two games against Libya, we have to get at least four points so we have to win.”
The Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna and Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba are the two facilities jostling to host the October game with Rohr having inspected the former last month.
In the mean time, Nigeria were without several key players for Saturday’s game due to injury and key withdrawals. Captain Mikel John Obi, Arsenal star Alex Iwobi, Udinese centre back William Troost-Ekong and full backs Ola Aina, Abdullahi Shehu and Tyronne Ebuehi were all among the absentees.
Rohr expects to have a full house in October but is also impressed with the contributions of two players who made their Super Eagles debuts on Saturday.
“By the 10th of October, we will recover our injured players like (William) Ekong, like Ola Aina, Obi Mikel will be fit also.
“We found some new players today like (Samuel) Kalu who had a very interesting performance and also (Semi) Ajayi who did very well as a defender.
“So, we think that the group is progressing and finding new possibilities to replace some of our players,” Rohr added.
Nigeria are being touted to travel to Monrovia on Tuesday for a friendly game against the Lone Stars before the players return to their respective bases.