Gernot Rohr takes positives from Nigeria's defeats

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The Super Eagles suffered their second consecutive loss to Karel Jarolim’s men to extend their winless run to four games

Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has taken positives from the Super Eagles' woes in recent friendly encounters.

The three-time African champions lost 2-1 to England on Saturday and four days later suffered another 1-0 defeat to Czech Republic at the Rudolf-Tonn-Stadion, having previously succumbed to Serbia and shared the spoils with Congo DR.

The results see them head into the global tournament as the world’s 48th best team and the least ranked side in Group D, below Argentina [5], Croatia [20] and Iceland [22].

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However, the 64-year-old is rather focused on the positive aspect of the warm-up games, especially with the return of Wilfred Ndidi to action, having been sidelined for two months owing to a hamstring injury.

“We lost again another match, everybody is angry about it and this anger is positive," Rohr told BBC Sport.

"After we won against Argentina in a friendly [in November], everyone talked about us reaching the semi-final and now the results now has humbled those voices.

Gernot Rohr  ps

"Because we need humility, it is helping us. We also need solidarity and hard work. Everybody understands this after the defeat to Czech Republic.

“We also had some positive lessons especially with the return of Ndidi. He has not played for two months," Rohr said.

"It was very important to see him playing again. Normally, he should play 70 minutes but could play 90 minutes which is very good.

"The medical team did a great job. Now Ndidi will be fit for the World Cup."

Ahmed Musa and Abdullahi Shehu are observing the Ramadan fast and Rohr revealed that he has held special training sessions with both players.

"We have special training for them and we have to respect them. It is not easy because they don't have the same energy like others," he continued.

"They don't play 90 minutes. Shehu played only 45 minutes but did well. We are also trying to avoid injury.

"The physical Czech was a good test for Shehu. We have to observe another 10 days but by the first game the Ramadan will be finished and we will be ready."

The Super Eagles open their World Cup campaign with Croatia at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 16.

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