Amrouche exit could make Libya even more dangerous, says Rohr
Where many would see Adel Amrouche’s resignation and the potential turmoil in the Libya camp as a good sign for Nigeria ahead of Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr and his players are wary of their wounded opponents.
Amrouche downed tools earlier this week, claiming he was owed six months’ wages, but Rohr says the Algerian’s departure could represent a potential banana skin for the Super Eagles as they go in search of their second win of the qualifying series
“It doesn’t change anything. We have seen the team on video, they played a very good game in South Africa, and I think they they could have won the game,” Rohr told KweséESPN.
“They are the same players. The coach can change, but the assistant is still there and its the same team.
“It will not be an easy game because they changed the coach,” he continued. Sometimes it is more difficult when a new coach comes in because everybody wants to show what they can do.
“We are preparing our game and we know that they have very good defence, very good defensive organisation, and they play a good counterattack also.”
Stand-in skipper Ahmed Musa also confirmed that the Super Eagles wouldn’t take their foot off the pedal despite their opponents’ change in circumstance.
“We don’t care whether the coach resigned or not,” he added. “What we care about is to show what we can do on the pitch to win the game.”
Nigeria certainly find themselves under pressure to take all three points, having lost their opening fixture against South Africa in June 2017.
They head into this match one point behind group leaders Libya and South Africa, and with only two teams qualifying for Cameroon 2019, the team know they can ill afford to drop points in Uyo on Saturday.
“The Nations Cup is massive,” Semi Ajayi told KweséESPN. “We haven’t qualified for the last two, and a country like Nigeria really should be qualifying, so we need to put the country back there and make our country proud.”
A win would take the Nigerians two points above the visitors, while a point three days later would help them consolidate that position with only two matches left to play.
Rohr has set a target six points from the two games, but would surely be happy to take four at the very minimum.
“If we win the two games, in Uyo and in Tunisia, we will be sure of qualifying for the Nations Cup,” he told media at the pre-game press conference on Thursday morning.
“We lost our first game against South Africa, which means that now we have to win, and there is no doubt that we have to go and to attack to win this game,” he concluded. “but we have to be very careful, because they are very strong in counterattacks.”
The German coach has no injury worries, and should have his entire squad to pick from, barring any last-minute knocks or niggles.
Libya moved their arrival date from Thursday to Friday and will have barely enough time to settle down before filing out on Saturday.
Kickoff is at 4pm local time at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.