The Nigeria Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is pleased with the pre-world cup defeats the team suffered against England and Czech Republic going into the tournament proper.
Speaking at the press conference before the team’s opening group match against Croatia Rohr says “after the victories over Argentina here in Russia and Poland in Wroclaw, these recent defeats have helped calm the expectations of Nigerians”.
The statement and the look on his face brought laughter in the room. “The truth is that in those two matches – England and Czech Republic – I was more focused in seeing my players play fully and we able to try out things than the result.”
The German went on to explain that “this team is really being readied for the 2022 World Cup because they are young. That is not saying we do not want to do very well here because we want to, but the bulk of the team is young and will be ready to get very far in 2022”.
Brighton & Hove Albion new signing Leon Balogun is the only doubt for this match. “He is 50-50” the coach said. “We will leave it to as late as tomorrow morning and after this evening’s training session to decide”.
The Super Eagles are clear underdogs going into this match but listening to the coach and his captain who accompanied him to the press conference, you get a very distinct feeling that they are quietly confident. Nigerians all over the world are hoping it is well placed confidence.
Kick-off is 9pm local time