Super Eagles’ manager, Gernot Rohr may have either given up on his team’s ability to win the Africa Cup of Nations which begins this weekend or merely waging a psychological war. According to an Egyptian publication, Kingfut, Rohr has remarked that his side are not favourites to lift the African Cup of Nations trophy next month.
Even though the Super Eagles are drawn in a relatively weak group alongside Guinea and two debuting teams of Burundi and Madagascar, Rohr was quoted as saying that his team’s target is a semi-final slot.
In Nigeria’s past 17 appearances of Nigeria at the competition, the Super Eagles have reached the semi-finals on 14 occasions. The only time the team failed to get to that stage were in 1963, 1982 and 2008 making the team to rake up seven record-setting third-place positions.
Comparatively, Egypt have won the trophy seven times and are gunning for the eighth title. Rohr tips Egypt as the overwhelming favourites to win the title. According to Kingfut, next to the Egyptians, Senegal and Tunisia are the other favourites.
“We are not the favourites to win it. The favourite is Egypt at home then the team number one in Africa is Senegal, then Tunisia,” Kingfut quoted Rohr as telling Goal.
“We are number three in the rankings officially so we should go until the semi-final, now we focus on the first match against Burundi. All our focus is on this match then we will see how it can go on. Of course, we have to come out of this group.
“The ideal [objective] will be [to finish in] first place so we could stay in Alexandria but it will be difficult, our opponents are good teams,” he added.
The 65-year-old also added that they gained a lot of experience during last year’s World Cup, which will help them reach their goals.
“The experience of the World Cup is very important, we have 15 players who made the World Cup and know how high the level is in international football,” he added.
“We learned a lot in the World Cup, we were the youngest team in the World Cup and I think even now, we are still the youngest team.