Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr says that thoughts of him quitting his job with the African side has never crossed him mind, in the wake of their group stage elimination at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
The Super Eagles were five minutes away from qualification from Group D at the Mundial but were undone by a Marcos Rojo 86th minute volley which gave Argentina a 2-1 win over the six-time World Cup participants at St Petersburg.
With Nigeria reaching the second round at their most recent World Cup appearance in Brazil four years ago, opinions are divided back home on whether the Franco-German should remain with the team or not but Rohr is not entertaining any thoughts of leaving.
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“When you have a team playing this good, beating Iceland who are number 20 in the world, a team that had Argentina, number six in the world close to a knockout, who would think of resigning from this team?” asked Rohr in an interview with Soccer Laduma.
“You would need to question your own work. No, it (resigning) is out of question for me right now.”
Casting his mind back to events on that painful night on June 26, Rohr recollects how he and his coaching staff had to console his young Nigerian players after the excruciating loss.
“We had to cheer them up, some cried, some prayed. Everyone has his own way of dealing with such a hurtful defeat,” recalls Rohr.
“My way to deal with it was to cheer the players up. I congratulated them for a brave effort. The performance was good and that is also the feedback we are getting from Nigeria, almost everyone is positive.
“Of course there are a few, who are looking at the results but most of them looked at how the team played and fought, sometimes the result does not reflect the actual game.”
As he emphasised throughout the course of Nigeria’s stay in Russia, the 65-year old coach believes the future of the current crop is very bright and backs them to make use of the invaluable experience they garnered at the World Cup.
“What happened on the pitch and the strength within the squad, the future of our project, working with our young team, is bright.
“Things are looking bright and we are on the right path. Yes, we have to work on some things, that is without a question, but we also learned a lot in Russia.”
Nigeria’s next piece of competitive action comes in two months time when they face Seychelles in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Seychelles. The Eagles are currently third in their group after having lost the only game played so far to South Africa in Uyo over a year ago.