Goalkeeping appears the obvious biggest headache that Nigeria’s Super Eagles’ manager, Gernot Rohr is facing ahead of Nigeria’s return to the Africa Cup of Nations after a five-year absence. But he is determined to keep faith with the Francis Uzoho ho still struggles at his lower division clubside in Europe.
Agency reports have it that the Franco-German tactician has ruled out a change in approach heading into the Africa Cup of Nations. The Super Eagles have struggled to fill the void created by the sudden international retirement of the country’s most capped player, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama in 2015, and the exit of replacement Carl Ikeme on health ground.
The gaff that gave Seychelles one of its consolatory three goals in the Africa Cup qualifiers last month brought major concerns.
“We have a little challenge because our young goalkeeper Uzoho has not really played at his club this season,” Rohr told BBC Sport.
“Uzoho made one mistake in the last qualifier (against Seychelles) but we gave him a chance with the youth under-23 and it was good for his confidence.
“Daniel Akpeyi is playing now for a big team in South Africa and doing very well. Our third goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa too is good so we can work harder with them.
“We have a good spirit as a team since the World Cup, so there’s no time to bring in new players,” Rohr concluded.
Fellow Super Eagles shot-stopper Daniel Akpeyi has himself fallen in and out of contention at Absa Premiership club Kaizer Chiefs, but despite admitting his goalkeeping concerns, Rohr is not about to call-up another goalkeeper.
pundits have expressed reservations over the ‘average’ performance of the
goalkeeper at the last World Cup finals in Russia and have called on the coach
to look into direction of other goalkeepers around the world but the German
mentor has backed his goalkeeping trio to keep their place in the squad for
continental showpiece, this despite Francis Uzoho’s struggles at club level