Nigeria players and officials acknowledge the public as they celebrate after the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying football match between Nigeria and Zambia in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on October 7, 2017. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP
• Coach pledges to build competitive team for World Cup
Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr has confessed that Nigerians expect a semifinal berth from the senior national team at the Russia 2018 World Cup.
Rohr, who believes the team can do better than the second round finish, their best since the 1994 debut, told a French publication, L’Equipe, that most Nigerians, including some members of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), expect the Super Eagles to be in the last four of the competition.
“They are already out of the group stage to go to the round of 16, especially in 2014 when they faced the French team (0-2 defeat),” Rohr said, adding, ‘’We will try to do as well.
Unfortunately, here, the ambitions are a little more excessive: the team must reach at least the semifinals.
“We have the ambition of the leaders to manage, even if I get along very well with the president (Amaju Pinnick), who came to get me.
“There are many people at the Federation (NFF). As in all African countries, it’s never easy. But for now, it’s going very well,” he said.
Rohr also spoke on Vincent Enyeama’s impending return to the Super Eagles, saying the former Enyimba star must first prove he is still equal tom the task before being readmitted to the squad.
Super Eagles’ Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, who dismissed the rumour that Enyeama will automatically regain the number one spot on his return, said: “Rohr has not said the Enyeama is coming straight into the team, but he will have to prove himself whether or not he is still fit to earn a place in the goalkeeping area.”