ALEXANDRIA – Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr says the Super Eagles are motivated to beat Guinea when both sides clash in tomorrow’s Group B 2019 Africa Cup of Nations game at the Alexandria Stadium because a victory guarantees Nigeria passage to the knockout stages.
The Super Eagles top Group B with three points after they labored to a 1-0 win against Burundi in their tournament opener on Wednesday while Guinea runners up in 1976 were surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw against AFCON debutantes Madagascar on the same day.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference in Alexandria ahead of tomorrow’s game, Rohr said his team is in a better place at the moment with several players regaining full fitness following a bout of illnesses which affected the team’s preparation for the Burundi game.
“Yes, I think that we are able to be ready because the players are coming back and becoming fit now and Guinea have the pressure because they have to win this match,” Rohr said today about his team’s level of preparedness ahead of tomorrow’s game at the Alexandria Stadium.
“But we are in a positive situation because we are top of the group with three points we want to stay on the top of the group, because if we it, we are sure to be qualified already and this is a big motivation for our players.
Speaking on the challenge Guinea could pose to his side, Nigeria’s coach said the encounter against the Guineans would be the most difficult match for his team in the group stages not just because of the quality of the Guinean players but also because of the situation in the Super Eagles’ camp.
Super Eagles players refused to attend today’s presser and have been locked in a meeting with officials of the Nigeria Football Federation over unpaid allowances and bonuses with new reports suggesting that the players have threatened to miss today’s training.
Rohr says he hopes an outcome is reached between the players and officials of the federation that doesn’t upset the “serenity and harmony” in the Super Eagles camp.
“I think that this match is the most difficult in our group when you see the players they have playing in such big teams like Liverpool, Napoli, Bordeaux. A lot of them have been educated in France with the French football philosophy and I only hope that the situation around the team will be a good one with the serenity and harmony that we need and I hope after the meeting of the players this morning that we can still work in this good serenity.”