After a humbling experience against the Bafana Bafana in Uyo last Saturday, head coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr has promised that the team will recover from their 2-0 home loss to South Africa and put up a better show against Cameroon in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.
The Super Eagles who are in the same group with Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria are currently topping the group with 6 points and are due to host second placed Cameroon in August. Rohr said the team would be better prepared before then.
The Eagles were tasting defeat for the first time since Rohr took over. He said he was sure the likes of Captain Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Carl Ikeme who are still recuperating from various ailments would recover early enough to face the Indomitable Lions. Said the German tactician,“For our next game against Cameroon, it is going to be very interesting,”adding, “It is going to be much better against Cameroon than we saw tonight against South Africa.”
Rohr admitted that the Eagles were exhausted against the Bafana Bafana.“We had difficulty physically, because in the first half we tried to put in so much effort but could not score.
“I introduced offensive players to bring some power into the attack in the second half, but they could not do enough. It was a bad day.” Rohr says his belief in his boys remains unshaken. “As a young team, they needed to score goals and after several failed attempts, they became nervous.
But I have trust in these players because they did very well in the first half. I am not going to search for excuses by missing players. It is true we don’t have some of them here, but the game we played in the first one hour, I am satisfied.
We have to be positive at times even in defeat. We cannot win all the time. We win and we lose together. Before the Cameroon game, the coach has promised to work on the psychology of his players not to repeat what was noticed in the match against South Africa. He said, “What I noticed was that these young players were all nervous.
The first goal was a counter from the right side. It was a mistake from the right full back. The second goal was a gift. Someone was coming in and had a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper. We lost the game and South Africa were more aggressive and better than us.
“We have a young team that sometimes we must learn that we cannot always have a positive result. “In selecting this team, the question was whether to start Musa or Simon Moses. You know Moses did very well in the first half. Musa, we all know that physically, it is very difficult because of certain circumstances.
The same for Shehu. We know it will be difficult for them physically. We decided to start with Simon. Everybody did well in the first half. Certainly, if you see what we saw in the first half, we will start the game with the same team.”