But at yesterday’s parley, Rohr dressed in a grey French suit with one of his former players, Victor Okechukwu Agali, in the room, the Eagles manager opened up on his mission to Nigeria.On Cameroon’s past edge over Nigeria in World Cup qualifiers and AFCON finals, Rohr insisted that is now history. “Before the game against Zambia, the talk was that Nigeria had never won in Zambia but we went there and won. I am here to make history and I am confident we will beat Cameroon in Uyo (when they come in September). I am convinced of that because we have a better team. Cameroon have a good team too, we will see them play in AFCON. I am aware that some of their players are not going to Gabon. It doesn’t matter. I hope in Uyo, with our 12th man, which is the fans, I am sure Nigeria will win the game (to take the tally to nine points). It will be difficult, just like against Algeria and Zambia. But we have the players to win the game.”On the fears being expressed by football followers in the country that the nonparticipation of Nigeria in the AFCON 2017 and the long break before the World Cup qualifiers resume, the Franco-German coach said he is not unaware of what may happen if Nigerian players are not in form.“We know that it can be dangerous to have such a long break. But we have friendly games and we have qualifiers for the next Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 which start in March. So we will have the games but though Cameroon and Algeria will be in the AFCON which is good because it is always good to play in such competitions. But unfortunately we will not be there. But we will watch and observe what they are capable of doing in our remaining matches.“And it is important to note that these countries (Cameroon and Algeria) can have problems before the qualifiers resume like injuries. That’s the only positive for them which is playing in the AFCON.“We are optimistic and the good thing is that within the period we can find one or two new players to bring into our team. In March we plan to meet Senegal in a friendly game because they play similar football like Cameroon. And in June, we plan to play another team who play similar football to Cameroon.“In August, as we know in England they will start late. They start training in the end of August which means the players will be fit. There is no need to worry as the players are professionals are know what to do to stay fit.”Is Rohr scared that the type of embarrassing scenario that played out when Super Falcons won the African Women’s Nations Cup in Cameroon could happen in Eagles because of non-payment of bonuses? “No…my players are motivated beyond money and I am really happy about that.”He however have words for top Nigerian players like John Mikel Obi, Ahmed Musa and Odion Ighalo who are not getting regular playing times in their respective clubs in Europe.“In each national team you have players who can have problems in their clubs. I knew of this situation already in other countries, in Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso. For example Alain Traore for Burkina Faso who didn’t play often. So this situation is not new for me. Now, the January transfer window is open which means these players can change clubs. I had contact on Tuesday morning with one of our players in Turkey (Musa Mohammed). So what we want to do now is help him find a club. Of course, our job is also to help players to play or change clubs, to give good information to managers in order to make things work.Despite preaching that players change base to guarantee them regulation actions in their clubs, Rohr wants his Captain, John Mikel Obi to remain in Europe. “I prefer Mikel stays in Europe and play in an European team. When I was in London two weeks ago, we spoke about that. But Mikel is an experienced and intelligent player and he knows what to do.”He however stressed that Nigerians will need to respect Mikel’s choice if China is his first option. “If he decides to choose the money of China then we must respect that. If he goes to China and is playing well, I have no problem with that,” the Eagles supremo observed.With continued yearning from ball fans in the country that players from the domestic league be given space in the senior national team, Rohr said he has no objection to that.“When I started, my first trip was to go to Spain to see the NPFL All Stars play against Atletico Madrid and Valencia. The players are supposed to be the best in the Nigerian league. At the Olympics, I saw all the games and I was able to pick some players for the Super Eagles like (Oghenekaro) Etebo and (William) Troost-Ekong.“Our objective is to have young players. Players who are motivated, players who like their country and are honoured to represent the country. For the local players, I have my assistants, Imama (Amapakabo) who sends me videos of all the best players, which is why I am happy to have him in my staff. Even when I don’t see a lot of the games, the Chief Coach, Salisu Yusuf, is on hand to give me important information. I listen to them and together we do the work because I cannot be everywhere.“In the game against Algeria, we had five local players. I saw them in Spain and my assistants recommended them. I trust my assistants and I believe we have a good staff,” Rohr hinted of the synergy between him and his assistants.On which Nigerian young talent can be in the running for the Africa Player of the Year in the nearest future, Rohr tips Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi and Victor Moses for honours.“I am sure next year one of Kelechi, Iwobi and Victor Moses will be in the final shortlist for the Africa Player of the Year award. Also on our part, we will do our best to help them.The Eagles manager who is going to Gabon as a pundit for a French television station believesSenegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco or even Algeria are favourites to lift the title. “So there is not one team you can say will win the AFCON, there are five or six teams who can win it,” concludes the experienced coach.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Super Eagles Franco-German Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, met with sportswriters at the Teslim Balogun Stadium Media Centre in Lagos tuesday where he fielded questions on his team, some of Nigeria’s top players who are warming benches in top European clubs as well as express his mind on the 2018 World Cup qualifiers so far. DURO IKHAZUAGBE was there…Barely five months into his three year-contract with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Franco-German coach, Gernot Rohr, is enjoying every minute of his stint here so far. Why not? The former Burkina Faso and Niger manager has scored 100 per cent in the task assigned to him by the Nigerian federation. Rohr has won the three competitive matches involving Eagles and Tanzania, Zambia and Algeria. With six points from two matches, Nigeria is perfectly in the driver’s seat of Group B of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and even set to elongate the edge with a win over the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon when they visit Uyo in nine months time. Despite not having anything at stake in his first game in-charge of the Super Eagles in a dead rubber clash with Tanzania, Rohr showed he was here for business, kicking off his stint with victory.