The immediate past coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr has faulted the claim by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Melvin Amaju Pinnick that he lost discipline over players in the team, as he insist he did the county a favour by launching young players into the national team.
Rohr countered the assertion Pinnick made about his inability to call his players to order and that he had lost control of disciplinary matters in the squad, as the gaffer reckoned that many of the lads are loyal to him because he propelled them into international limelight.
Rather than accept the verdict by Pinnick that he could no longer control the dressing room, hence the NFF technical committee’s decision to do away with his services last Sunday, Rohr insists that all the young players he gave the Eagles respect him to the core.
SportsDayOnline.com reports that the 68-year-old Franco-German tactician, who has previously coached Girondins-Bordeaux of France as well as the national teams of Burkina Faso, Niger Republic and Gabon, added that he does not understand why he was asked to leave.
He cajoled the NFF to justify their unceremonious termination of his contract on a non-working day, even as he credited himself for giving debuts to Maduka Okoye, Victor Osimhen, Chidera Ejuke, Frank Onyeka, Francis Uzoho, Kingsley Michael, Samson Tijani and Terem Moffi.
With Rohr capping players aged 23 or under, he ensured that Nigeria had the youngest squad at the 2018 World Cup with an average age of 25.9 years and fielded the lowest ratio during that competition’s qualifiers, with an average age of 24.9 years.
The soft-spoken coach added that he does not deserve the rude treatment he got from the NFF and further told French sports daily, L’Equipe: “It’s hard to understand because I got along very well with all these young players that I launched and that I tried to improve.”
Rohr further told AFP: “I’m going to have a hard time without these great players and this very united staff, but the environment is not always favourable, we cannot control everything. It’s a huge frustration.
“But, I don’t want to argue. It’s not my style. (I’m) convinced they will have a very good Nations Cup because the team is in place, and this very united group is ready for the challenges that await it.”