By Kayode Ogundare (pic: Ganiyu Yusuf) In Uyo:
The return of captain John Mikel Obi and Mainz 05 of Germany defender Leon Balogun to the Super Eagles squad that will play against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in Friday’s 2018 World Cup Qualifiier in Uyo is delightful to the team’s Technical Adviser, Gernot Rorh, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Mikel and Balogun have not played for Nigeria since the matchday 2 of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers when the Super Eagles defeated Algeria 3-1 at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo and Rohr is happy to have them back.
“I’m happy to have both players back. Mikel is our captain and we have missed him. He’s been off since November and we are glad to have his experience and influence back in the team. He brings something different and we couldn’t have wished for a better time than this to have him back,” Rohr began.
The Franco-German tactician also described Balogun as a ‘German Machine’ whose absence was sorely felt against South Africa in the team’s last game.
He said: “Balogun is our German Machine and we are glad to have him back. We lacked steel in the defence against South Africa and now, he can partner with (William) Troost-Ekong to help us win the game.”
Rorh however sounded a note of caution that the return of both players will only be worthwhile if every other person does their part of the job.
“Of course nothing is guaranteed but their presence gives us confidence to approach the game with a positive mentality,” he concluded.