Gernot Rohr and five of his Super Eagles players took on the media duties for the press conference.
Nigeria host Libya in matchday three of the qualifiers on Saturday, October 13 at the Godswill AKpabio International Stadium in Uyo with the return keg in Sfax, Tunisia-Libya can’t play at home because of unrest in the country.
Ahead of the clashes, Gernot Rohr faced the Nigerian media at the Le Meridien Resort in Uyo along with five of his players-Ahmed Musa, William Troost-Ekong, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Isaac Success and Jamilu Collins.
These are five things we learnt from the press conference
Everyone who spoke at the press conference reiterated Super Eagles’ commitment to the game for Nigeria to qualify for AFCON 2019 after a two-edition absence.
Stand-in captain Musa said while the Super Eagles will miss absentees like Mikel John Obi and Victor Moses, the players in camp are all focused on the task at hand.
Speaking at different times, Success stressed that he has learnt from the past mistakes which had derailed his career and working towards getting better. The Watford forward is back with the Super Eagles after a two-year absence following a decent season so far for his club.
“For me, I just think that two years back, they have been mistakes that have been made and the mistakes have been corrected already, I am back to shape and I have been fitter than before,” he said at the press conference.
Super Eagles defender William Troost-Ekong revealed during the press conference that he has benefitted from playing at the World Cup.
Troost-Ekong joined Serie A side Udinese from Turkish side Bursaspor and the defender consider it an upgrade which was only possible because of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“It was a move that happened after the World Cup as a result of the hard work that did as a team,” the defender said.
“I think a lot of guys got a reward for it, that including (Ahmed) Musa and other players and now it’s up to us to keep up with that level and move up again.”
Jamilu Collins’ call-up to the Super Eagles was called into questions over the fact that he plays in the 2. Bundesliga (second division in Germany) for Paderborn 07 but the left-back believes he has the qualities to play for the National Team.
Rohr also defended his decision to invite the fullback, stating that he has watched him severally and believes he can perform for the Super Eagles.
Despite failing to impress at the World Cup, Odion Ighalo continues to be Rohr’s first choice striker and when the question was brought up the Super Eagles boss revealed that he has continued to invite the striker because of his performances for his club.
Ighalo just recently scored his 20th league goal of the season for Changchun Yatai in the Chinese Super League and that’s enough for Rohr to keep inviting him.
“Ighalo is a player who did very well in the World Cup qualifiers especially against Cameroon the goal he scored,” Rohr said at the press conference.
“He had a World Cup which was not so easy for him but he is doing so well in his club, now more than 20 goals and that is why we invited him again.”