15 June 2017

Nigeria: Super Eagles to Recall Mikel, China-Based Strikers

Photo: The Guardian
John Obi Mikel

Super Eagles' Manager, Gernot Rohr, is hoping that the team's captain, John Obi Mikel would have recovered fully from the injury that kept him out of the AFCON qualifier against South Africa before the country's Russia 2018 World Cup eliminator against Cameroon in August.

The German is also planning to recall China-based Odion Ighalo and Brown Ideye to the beef up the team's attack, which was non-existent in the second half of the game against South Africa.

A Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) source told The Guardian that Rohr has admitted that he missed forceful strikers in the game against South Africa, adding that the team lacked a leader when things became tough in the course of the match.

He also revealed that the NFF board would review the recommendations of the technical committee to know areas and what to do to make the team strong enough to beat Cameroon in Uyo on August 28.

Chairman of the NFF technical committee, Chris Green revealed yesterday that the federation has resolved to employ everything at its disposal to ensure Nigeria maintained its position atop Group B of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying series.

Green, whose committee had an emergency meeting with Rohr in Abuja on Tuesday, told a local website that the German had enjoyed no technical interference since he took charge of the Super Eagles in August 2016, adding that the technical committee will now scrutinise all his activities henceforth.

"After reviewing everything that happened on and before the match against South Africa we came to the conclusion that certain things must change for us to achieve our aim of qualifying for Russia 2018.

"We called for the establishment of the scouting unit in the technical department and that henceforth, we should have a pre-knowledge of players invited before sending to the public.

"The technical adviser must appear at a press conference where such list will be announced to the public and questions will be asked as regards the list. And there must be a good synergy between the technical crew and technical department cum the committee."

He revealed that the meeting agreed that only players, who feature regularly for their clubs would henceforth make the list for any match, adding, "we will deploy a psychologist to the team. We believe the players need to be psyched up for matches as we will face Cameroon which will be a very tough game."

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