Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr has stated that his team is physically ready to face a fit Croatia in Saturday’s Group D
clash at the Kaliningrad Stadium.
, who is yet to make a final decision on a starting line-up for the team, is hopeful that Nigeria will start her World Cup campaign with a win.
“Now the team is ready. We are physically ready. We have two training sessions today (Wednesday) and we will see the players again. We have a full week in Russia and the players showed good commitment. Technically and tactically we have three days to work on some things.”
Some players who showed more resolve and better on-the-job skills may fall in the starting line-up and the decision will sorely depend on who is best fit for any position. Rohr did not want to give any further information regarding his choice of players against Croatia yet.
“We have our team in our heart already but we will wait till the final moment before we give it out.”
“We spent nine days in Austria, two training sessions everyday. This preparation gives us a possibility to see who is fit physically and who needs more time to be ready.”
Speaking on the glaring difficulties the Super Eagles will face against a seasoned Croatia with the likes of 2018 UEFA Champions Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic, Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic and a host of other top players, Rohr said:
“Croatia watched us against England and Czech Republic. The game will be a good one for both teams. It is an important game for the two teams as it is good to start with a win. They are more experienced than us but we have young team. There is big enthusiasm in the team. You know this desire, big enthusiasm can make a team perform better.”
During training on Tuesday, Super Eagles defender, Tyronne Ebuehi, got a nose injury, notwithstanding Coach Rohr told the media that the injury wasn’t severe and the player is doing better now.
“Yesterday, we had a little shock in camp.Tyronne Ebuehi had a nose injury. It was not a broken nose. The doctors did a good job, the treatment was okay. Aside from that little injury, everyone is fit at the moment.”
Rohr also used the chance to solicit the support of fans from Russia, since Nigeria may not have too many representatives at the World Cup due to the distance from Nigeria to Russia:
“We have some our players who have special relationship with Russia. Idowu who is Russian and Nigerian born and Musa who plays for CSKA Moscow. Of course there is also Mikel who is married to a Russian. We hope this will help us get the sympathy of the Russian public. We won’t have the possibility of our fans back home coming out to support us as the distance is very far but we hope the fans can give us their support because of these players. Croatia is not far from here and we expect their fans to come out in large numbers to support their team.”
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This article was first published on 14th June 2018