Barnabas Imenger has lauded Gernot Rohr's tactical ability in Nigeria's 4-2 defeat of Argentina in Tuesday's friendly match in Krasnodar.
La Albiceleste thought they were home and dry after their magnificent start to the match but the Eagles turned the match around in the second half through the strikes of Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Brian Idowu.
And the former Nigeria international feels credit should go to the Eagles coach for his halftime substitutions which proved to be the turning point of the match.
“This is the preparation stage and we must get it right because if we do not get it right now it is going to be difficult at the World Cup. If we get it right now, it will enable us to go very far in Russia next year. I think the introduction the coach made at the start of the second half brought some life, vibe, and energy into the game,” Imenger told Goal.
“Football is about taking chances. We got our chances and we took them.”
Imenger admitted that Argentina missed the services of their skipper and talisman, Lionel Messi but he reckons that it would have been difficult for the Barcelona star to shoulder all the responsibilities expected of the Albiceleste against the Eagles.
“No doubt, they missed the absence of Messi because he is a world-class player. He is a great personality and his presence would have given an advantage to the Argentines but I want to say that a tree cannot make a forest. Football is a team game and one cannot just rely on one player. I believe in team play more than individual play.”
The former Eagles star advised the Nigeria’s senior national team players to stick to their World Cup programmes and not be carried away by the victory achieved against the South American giants but that they should use it as the measurement in their upcoming friendly matches.
"They should keep on working harder and should carry out their preparation programmes without leaving anything out," he added. "They should not relax because of the good results they have been posting."
"They shouldn’t be carried away by the victory they just earned against Argentina because the stake will be higher at World Cup proper. It will be a different ball game. They should go with confidence and play with a positive mindset which will give them advantage.
“They should not allow overconfidence to override the most important competition they have ahead in Russia next year,” he concluded.