Despite criticism in some quarters over the inclusion of Odion Ighalo in the players invited to prosecute Nigeria’s Nations Cup qualifier, Rohr, has appeared unperturbed.
Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr, has reacted to criticisms which trailed him for inviting Odion Ighlo among the 28 players for the country’s September 7 Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifier against Seychelles in Victoria.
The German tactician who appeared unperturbed about his decision, noted that though Ighalo who last scored for the Eagles a year ago against Cameroon in Uyo, missed begging chances against Argentina in Russia which failed to impress some of the fans.
Rohr who disclosed that Ighalo deserves another opportunity to make amends, insisted that the striker still has a role to play in his formation to secure the maximum 3 point in the crucial duel adding that “this is an opportunity for him(Ighalo) prove his critics wrong.”
Rohr said, “He has been scoring in China and he is very motivated to do so for the Super Eagles now.”
A breakdown of the 28-man squad released on Friday showed that 24 players were listed as regulars, while four players were listed as stand-by, comprising Uche Agbo who plays for Standard Liege, Belgium, Eze Stephen who stars with Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Musa Mohammed starring for Hnk Gorica, Croatia and Blessing Eleke.
The 24 invited players are goalkeepers Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC) and Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa).
Eight defenders were invited including Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Semi Ajayi (Rotterdam United, England); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain) and Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn 07, Germany).
Rohr picked six midfielders comprising Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Kelechi Nwakali (FC Porto, Portugal) and Joel Obi (AC Chievo Verona, Italy)
Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia) leads the list of strikers which include Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone FC, Italy); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England) and Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux FC, France).
Team Administrator Dayo Enebi Achor revealed on Friday that the invited players are expected to fly directly to Seychelles, arriving on Monday, 3rd September, while the one player (goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa) and team officials traveling from Nigeria will fly into Victoria on Sunday, 2nd September.