Former Super Eagles coach, Adegboye Onigbinde, has said new coach of the national team, Gernot Rohr, must justify his appointment when he leads the team against Tanzania in his first match on September 3.
The match is the last in the qualifiers for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, with both teams out of the competition, after Egypt picked the group’s sole ticket.
Rohr last week invited 23 players for the match against the Taifa Stars, which the Eagles are using as rehearsal for the 2018 World Cup qualifying series. Their first match in the Russia 2018 qualifiers comes up against Zambia in Ndola in October.
The German was named Eagles coach by the Nigeria Football Federation less than a month ago and will be seeking to impress in his first match in charge of the team.
Onigbinde said Rohr’s pedigree notwithstanding, the NFF had chosen him as the team’s coach, adding that the Tanzania match would serve as a test for the German to prove himself.
“The NFF believe that he (Rohr) is the right man for the job and he should prove himself starting with the match against Tanzania,” Onigbinde said.
“It is sad that Nigeria will not be featuring in any continental competition next year and that is the more reason why the coach should do what he has been employed to do.
“Nigerians are waiting to see what he will do when the 2018 World Cup qualifiers begin and that will be another disaster if the Eagles cannot qualify.
“The administrators should ask themselves a lot of questions on why we will not be competing across all levels of competitions next year. The answer they get will really move our football forward. But for now, the coach needs to ensure that he does the work he has to do.”
Also, former Eagles goalkeeper, Joseph Dosu, said Rohr should get his tactics right for the game, adding that the match would be an eye-opener into the German’s plans for the team.
“The first game for Rohr is not one that he will be under pressure to deliver. It is an avenue for him to relate with the players and unveil his plans for the team ahead of the more important 2018 World Cup qualifiers,” the Atlanta 1996 Olympic gold medallist said.
“The players will be the ones under pressure to impress the coach so that he can call them for other matches. The Tanzania match is just an avenue for the new coach to let Nigerians know that he has what it takes to do the job.
“We don’t know whether he will be coming with the German style of football or he will bring another style. The match will afford him the chance to do so.”