Finidi has some explanations for Super Eagles’ loss to Benin – Rohr

Gernot Rohr says he agrees to 'have a lower salary', to be paid in Naira
Gernot Rohr

Benin Republic  coach,  Gernot Rohr, has said that his Nigerian counterpart, Finidi George, could have some explanations to advance for losing the World Cup qualifier game against him.

This is as Gernot, who is a former coach of the Super Eagles, savoured his reunion with Nigerian players while analysing how he motivated his own boys to turn the table against the bigger Naija team.

According to him, the fact that many Nigerian big players play in top clubs that have just rounded off big games was a disadvantage to Finidi.

In an interview with ‘The Punch’, Gernot notes:  “The group is still open, that’s true and only four points difference with six games to play. It’s possible that in all the last games, there can be a decision in Uyo when we play Nigeria. It could be a final also because the Super Eagles will come back. It was difficult for them without (Victor) Osimhen, (William) Ekong and Moses Simon. It’s a good team Finidi (George) has and perhaps missing the very best players and Osimhen also, he can have some explanations for the defeat.”

On hos he steered the ship against Eagles, he explains that he highlighted to his boys reasons they could be victorious: ” You know, it was for us as a team to play very well. And I know the (Nigerian) team and a lot of the boys we had to play, and the big motivation was from the fact that we had to win this game to still dream of the World Cup. You know, a little country like Benin Republic normally might not think of playing at the World Cup, but I told them that ‘all is possible in this group if you win these two games’ which we could not play in Cotonou because of the stadium. We knew it was difficult to play on a neutral ground, but we knew also that it was possible to do something because different arguments were playing for us. First of the arguments is that all the Super Eagles players are in big clubs and very often at the end of the season they are a bit tired mentally and physically.

“Also, that they’ve not had a little bit of rest and holiday with their families. It’s not easy to motivate the Super Eagles players after such a season when even in winter time, they could not rest because of the AFCON. I think the Benin players were hungrier and fresher physically and mentally. That’s why our chances to win were really realistic and we could prepare a plan. You know we already had 10 days before the time we moved to Abidjan. Also the little advantage we had was the one day more between our first game against Rwanda, unlike Nigeria, who had a difficult game on the other day against South Africa, a day less, plus the travelling.”

Share this Article