Technical Adviser of Nigeria’s Super Eagles Gernot Rohr has stated it loud and clear that the 3-time African champions are not yet ready for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, adding that a lot of work needs to be done in various departments of the team before the tournament starts on 14 June.
Nigeria will open her campaign at the World Cup against Croatia on 16 June before facing debutants, Iceland (on 22 June) and 2-time champions, Argentina (on 26 June) in a difficult Group D.
With less than two months to their first game in Russia, Rohr has sensationally declared the team’s unreadiness.
“We are not ready for the World Cup yet. We need three really good weeks of preparation,” the 64-year old tactician told Channels TV.
“The team is not ready because we didn’t have the time to work together; we never had more than a few days to prepare for a game, only three days maximum before games. That is why it is now important to have a good camping before the World Cup.
“We have to improve the defence, we have to improve the midfield, we have to improve the attack and we have to improve the goalkeepers.
“We sent our goalkeeper coach (Enrico Pionetti) already there but he will go again for our young goalkeeper at (Deportivo) La Coruna (Francis Uzoho). Also (Dele) Alampasu is close in Portugal.
“We also have problems for our fitness coaches and doctors to be in a relationship with the medical teams of the clubs of our injured players,” Rohr lamented.
With some of his first team players like Leon Balogun and Tyronne Ebuehi currently out with injury, Rohr is hoping that the team will be fit, and eventually ready for the World Cup.
“We hope that everybody will be fit, and that the choice of the first list (provisional list) will be difficult for me to do, and the second list (final list) will be more difficult. Which means everybody is fit, and everybody can pretend.
“We are not ready, but I think we will be ready,” he said.
Rohr is expected to name his 30-man provisional squad next month before submitting a final list of 23 to FIFA on 1 June.
The Eagles are scheduled to play the Democratic Republic of Congo in a farewell match on May 28 in Port Harcourt before facing England on June 2 at Wembley and Czech Republic on June 6.