Ahead of the all-important FIFA World Cup Group D game against Iceland, Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has opened up completely concerning the first game and the plans to defeat Iceland and make it past the first round of the championship.
Rohr also addressed the issue of captain Mikel Obi concerning the best position he should play in.
He is, however, optimistic that the Super Eagles have the wherewithal to defeat Iceland and stand a chance to move to the second round.
The 62-year old stated at the pre-match press conference that the quality and number of fans at the vital game is important to both teams’ motivation.
What tactics will you use against Iceland?
Tactics are something I don’t want to talk about with journalists. I can only discuss with my players. So, I cannot tell you. In the last game, we had a good organisation and tactics but we conceded two stupid goals – one own goal and one penalty. So, we’ll have a different tactics and team against Iceland from what we had against Croatia. Well, we are working very hard every day as a team. I can’t disclose our plans, we are working well with our tactics for our game against Iceland.
On Mikel role as a number 10
It is normal for people to ask this kind of question at this point in time. You know since two years we’ve been working like that with Mikel as the matchmaker and we qualified with no defeat. We were the first African country to qualify for Russia. And nobody asked about this then. Now that we lost the game against Croatia that’s when the question started coming in and I understand it. If we play Mikel as a number 6 and we lose the match, people will still ask why did you not play him like you did in the last two years. I just want to focus on our next important match. We’ve prepared well and on Friday we will see Nigeria who will like to show the world the kind of football they are known for.
We have a lot of respect for Iceland. They had a great game against Argentina. It’ll be very difficult for us. They don’t have big players and we also don’t have big players. It’s going to be experience against a young team. It’s going to be interesting how it’ll turn out on Friday.
If there’s pressure to win Iceland
For me, there’s no pressure. What I’ll tell you is that we will not lose this game against Iceland.
On the weather in Volgograd
Let’s have a little advantage too. There was about 25 thousand Croatian fans and about two hundred and fifty Nigerian fans in Kaliningrad, and it was an away game. The game against Iceland is also an away game. Perhaps the temperature will be better for African players. If it’s an advantage, let’s take it.