Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has revealed that the decision to drop Semi Ajayi and Kelechi Iheanacho from the final Africa Cup of Nations squad was taken based on their poor performance during friendly match against Zimbabwe on Saturday.
The German tacitican said that he had been monitoring the performance of Nigerian players before they arrived for their camp in Asaba, adding that it was difficult for him to rate the two players because of the rainy conditions in the goalless draw with the Warriors.
”You cannot judge from one game in these conditions. We already have our opinion before the match because we observed them throughout the season and we saw what they did and also all week in the training sessions,” Rohr said after the game.
”We had many training sessions to see the fitness, confidence of the players. It’s not this match alone that gave us a decision on the two players we dropped.”
No less than seven offensive players were given a run-out against Zimbabwe, but Rohr has stressed that won’t be the case at the Africa Cup of Nations.
”Normally in a match you cannot bring so many strikers. We played with a lot of offensive players.
”So You see that we played with seven strikers, all the strikers who deserve to play. We started with three strikers, the others came in,” said Rohr.
”We have Chukwueze, Kalu, Henry, Osimhen, Paul, Simon also. The choice of dropping two players is really difficult for me but I must have to do it.”