Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has come out with a detailed explanation of reasons behind the late substation he has been known to make during the Nigerian national team’s matches.
Nigerian soccer fans have become agitated and even confrontational over what has become a habitual manner in which the Franco-German tactician keeps delaying his substitutions during matches, but Rohr is not apologetic about it.
The former Gabon, Niger Republic and Burkina Faso gaffer takes his style of making delayed substitutions even into friendly matchers, which the Nigerian critic believes is uncalled for, but Rohr has a different view to all that.
On the other hand, Rohr stated matter of factly during a cable television sports programme at the weekend that he deliberately delays making changes during games because he tries to be cautious and wants to avoid any unseen setbacks towards the tail end of a game.
Rohr said he has to guide against instances of late injuries during matches or cases of a red card to any of his players as well as counter-tactics by the opponent.
He responded with a rhetoric question: “Do we have to make changes early just for the fun of it, or because we want to achieve something with them?
“I will not like to make an early change because the fans want me to do so, then end up having troubles in case of an injury later, or due to a red card.
“We also have to watch what the opponent is doing before we start making changes. Which means we will make changes only when it is necessary.
“In our match against Libya in Sfax, one of my assistant coaches said we should replace Ighalo because he was tied, but I decided to keep him on, and he scored opur winning goal.
“That shows that we don’t have to rush our substitutions, but try to keep our players fresh and open for any late developments in the match.”