News Live Scores

'For once, Nigeria should opt for continuity' - Henry Abiodun wants Gernot Rohr's stay

5:15 AM GMT 29/06/2018
Nigeria v. Argentina - Gernot Rohr
The Owena Whales handler is canvassing for 'continuity' of the Nigerian technical crew so as to enable the Eagles continue with their learning curve

Despite Nigeria's group stage exit from the ongoing 2018 Fifa World Cup, the Nigeria Football Federation should allow Gernot Rohr continue as the national team coach, according to Henry Abiodun.

A win over Iceland was sandwiched by losses to Croatia and Argentina which eventually fluffed the Super Eagles' chances of progressing through to the Round of 16 at the quadrennial showpiece, thus, leaving question marks over the future of Rohr.

But the Sunshine Stars gaffer believes another chance will enable the German tactician to correct his lapses and lead the team to the next level.

”I think they should retain him. For once, Nigeria should opt for continuity,” Abiodun told Goal.

“They should still stick with the German coach because he must have learned one thing or the other from what transpired thus far. He must have had a good understanding of Nigerian football better than when he came.

“He will be better than whoever we are going to be asking to thinker the team right now because he has been to the World Cup and now has the experience. It was his first time at the World Cup and the same with most of the players. They should keep him.

“They should let him go for the Nations Cup again and let him build on what he has. We are talking about the youthfulness of our team and if truly they are, we should let him develop them. If there are some he feels are through with the team let them go. He should be made to look inward into the Nigerian league to fish out talents.

“There is no time to start talking about employing a new coach because a new coach will still face all these problems and will have to start all-over. Let us have a coach that will take us to the World Cup twice. It will be great for Nigeria.”

Nigeria crashed out to a late Marcos Rojo strike having headed for 1-1 a draw - which would have seen them progress - after Victor Moses responded to Lionel Messi's first-half opener.

However, Abiodun credited the players for giving their all despite switching off in the latter part of the encounter.

"This is a team that we found easy to play against during friendly matches but during competitive games, we can’t just find the way to see them through,' he continued.

“We came into the game just the same way we approached the one with Iceland. We didn’t play too well in the first half but in the second half, we came back as usual. We got the equalizer through a penalty kick and that made the game more difficult because all the Argentines needed was a goal and eventually got it.

“I think they tried their best. You cannot give what you don’t have. The boys gave it all. We were unlucky we played against Argentina when they eventually came to play. Their first two games were nothing to write home about but they stepped up their game against Nigeria. It was national pride for them and unfortunately, we gave them the lifeline against Iceland when we beat them.

"We put them back in the tournament against Iceland and they have knocked us out of the tournament. I personally in my own opinion I feel that the last 15 minutes and the opening 15 minutes of a game are very crucial. We survived until the last five minutes of the game maybe one or two substitutions would have helped us in the area of studying the game.

“For the most part of the game, the Argentines were in control of the game. I think our greatest undoing was the fact that we were defending without possessing the ball. We were kicking the ball into the area of the Argentines and the pressure kept mounting from them all through the game.

“We lost that balance and the concentration was lost towards the dying moments of the game. We tried. We were not disgraced. We had controversial issues. We are Nigerians we cannot complain that we were cheated because we had our chances too that we didn’t take.

“In all, the game was not a totally bad one. We should learn to keep the ball when we are defending. We should know how to keep possession of the ball when we are defending. You noticed what the Argentines did after they scored their second goal? They kept possession of the ball and they didn’t throw the ball to us for us to attack them. We should learn that because it happens to us in the [domestic] league also.”