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INTERVIEW – Rohr Explains How Super Eagles Will Play ‘Physical Team’ Sierra Leone

INTERVIEW – Rohr Explains How Super Eagles Will Play  ‘Physical Team’ Sierra Leone

Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr says his players must work work hard to beat the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in Friday’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture.

Completesports.com’s Adeboye Amosu who is currently covering the Super Eagles’ activities in Benin City, presents Rohr’s responses to questions about his teams preparations for match.

Rohr on the Super Eagles’ 100% Record in AFCON 2021 qualifiers so far

“I think kudos must go to the players because they all played a big role in making it possible. We all work in the same direction. The players, the technical crew and all the staff.

We are always ready to give our best. The game tomorrow is not going to be easy. Unfortunately for us, some of the players arrived yesterday night. Our tradition is to always qualify with a game to spare and we want to continue in that tradition.”

Rohr’s Thoughts on Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium pitch

“I think the pitch is similar to the one in Asaba. The grass is good and the environment is beautiful. We have trained on it and the players like it. It is a good pitch for football.

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It is okay, but not so big, which means we have to find space for us to be able to play our football. We have a good strategy for the game and we will adapt.”

Preparations ahead of the match against Leone Stars

“This is not a friendly, but a qualifying game. We have some players who came in yesterday which is not ideal for our preparation. The players who came in late are yet to recover fully from long travelling and long waiting at airports.

They had light sessions yesterday. We have to be careful with the players. Some of our players have not played much for their clubs this season. We have to find the right capacity to train. We have to play our football.

The training sessions are not enough for us. But we are used to it. Even before our first against Benin Republic we didn’t have time to prepare well.”


Rohr on midfielder’s and new players invited

“We invited some young midfielders for our last two games against Algeria and Tunisia. Samson Tijani and Frank Onyeka. We also invited Maduka Okoye, other young goalkeepers and Kevin Akpoguma.

Now we have large pool of players to pick from. Samuel Kalu and Moses Simon are missing and we have good players who can replace them. There is Chidera Ejuke and Emmanuel Dennis, who plays with his club in the Champions League.
There is also another player Zaidu Sanusi who plays for Porto in the Champions League.”

Rohr on the strength of the opponents – the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone

“It is important to always respect your opponent – no small team again in football. You have to stay humble and recognise the other team is strong too.

Sierra Leone have a lot of good players playing abroad -professional players in Switzerland, Spain, England, United States of America and other parts of the world. They have a very good player in Kei Kamara, who is experienced and can cause problems for us. We have to be determined to beat them . We must have the passion to win the game.

Then the African condition is not easy. The pitch, weather and other conditions. Don’t forget we have not played here in Nigeria for close to a year now which could affect the players as they are all coming from Europe.”

Rohr on Eagles’ approach to Friday’s match

“We have to take things easy. We know a lot of things about the Sierra Leone team. We have monitored them for sometime now. We have some videos of the team with us. It’s going to be a physical game. West African is very physical which is not our kind of football, but we have to be ready.

We have good midfielders -Oghenekaro Etebo, Joe Aribo and Alex Iwobi who can play one touches and good passes. There is also Samuel Chukwueze.
The short preparation is not good for us, but we have to be determined, show passion and have good spirit too.”

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  • daniel 3 years ago

    NFF self, they always play politices with our qualification, how can they carry such match go Benin small pitch? how can our players express their selfs, that field dont suppose to use for international match like this, watch and see, super eagles will struggle throughtout the match day, una mumu never do

  • Larry 3 years ago

    But oshimen that came late will start, but akpeyi that also came late will be benched. double standard everywhere.

    • If you are the coach,pls choose who start to among the keepers. Let’s know people with football acumen

    • I bound the spirit of sentiment in you in Jesus name!

    • So you’re saying that Oshimen should be benched because Akpeyi is benched? I don’t even know why Akpeyi was invited.

    • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

      Hahahahaha…nor be who 1st reach police station go win case….e get why. Kuku start the 1st 11 players that came to camp na (even if they are 3 gks, 7 defenders and 1 midfielder) because you are avoiding triple standards….LMAO. I dont know which rule book say the 1st to get to camp automatically gets a starting shirt. Hatred sure does blocks ability to think straight.

  • DrinkWater 3 years ago

    My starting 11

    Ebuehi Ekong Akpoguma Sanusi

    Aribo Etebo Iwobi

    Chukwueze Osimhen Ejuke

  • Abdul handsy 3 years ago

    If you follow rohr’s interviews very well you will be able to read his mind for at least 70%.

    1. He spoke about the condition of the pitch in a resemblance to the one in Asaba which is being touted as the ‘rice plantation pitch’ that of which is not suitable for a good flowing football for the calibre of players we are having in the camp right now.

    2. He spoke about the weather as well as the physicality of the west African football that of which makes it unlikely for ebuehi and Aina to start the match.

    3. He also talked about the size of the playing turf which is also not suitable for the type of wing-play the super eagles adopt considering the kind of wingers we have presently who love to run with the ball.

    It is on this note I plead to the NFF bigwigs being headed by Amaju melvin pinnick to please remove politics from the state Governors who he accepts to host super eagles matches to always meeting up to the standard with which these our boys are playing in their respective clubs because these guys aint from our local league clubs hence, they tend to struggle with pitches which is not always up to the standard at their club sides as you will believe with me that super eagles perform better when they play in UYO where the field is wider, longer and with better playing turf.

    With what rohr has said so far, I foresee an Awazi starting the game tomorrow as the physicality nature of the game as has deduced may not really be game-on with fullbacks in the name of ebuehi and Aina.

    My possible starting line-up goes thus:


    Awaziem. Ekong. Balogun. Zaidu

    Aribo. .Etebo

    Chukwueze. Iwobi. Musa


    • JimmyBall 3 years ago

      Why do we even have all these substandard pitches hosting Eagles games and the governor was calling it world class stadium? What is the edifice without a good playing turf? Corruption pulls everything down in Nigeria. Why can’t the Abuja stadium or Lagos stadium be properly renovated with top grassing and maintenance to start hosting our national team games? We must not continue in this culture of mediocrity… but since we have no shame as a country, we are not disappointing ourselves!

      • pompei 3 years ago

        JimmyBall, the thing tire me! After now, if our boys fumble because of the poor pitch, fair weather fans will start calling for their heads, forgetting that the boys were not provided with a good enough pitch to play on! These people should stop playing politics with the only thing that is uniting Nigerians right now. What a shame!
        Honestly, if that pitch is not match-ready by tomorrow, somebody needs to pay dearly for it!

  • Possible line up





  • Good evening Friends, sorry to deviate from the topic of the thread;
    watching Algeria vs Zimbabwe right now and looking at the turf and how tv-friendly it is, i can’t just but wonder what is wrong with us in this country. Abeg, am i just being paranoia here or is it rocket science to renovate and maintain the assets/stadia we have in Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna, Ibadan, Enugu, Calabar and add to what currently exists in Uyo and voila we have 7 standard playable surfaces where our national teams can play good football at any giving time. #whoDoUsLikeThisNow

  • I am always looking forward to seeing analysts on this platform rolling out their line ups for matches.And this time I intend to do same.

    Awaziem Ekong,Balogun,Sanusi.




    I know a lot of you guys will disagree with me but dont forget we are not the Super Eagles coach.It is like “if wishes were horses,the lame man would get a ride”.Aribo is a very strong defensive midfielder and passes well too.

  • Jibsmy 3 years ago

    That pitchy is an advntage to the Leon Stars…..i dont kniow what is wrong with NFF

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