Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr sets minimum target of reaching World Cup quarter finals in Russia

SUPER Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has set his team a minimum target of reaching the quarter finals of the World Cup this summer as he prepares to release the list of players who will feature in a friendly against Serbia in London next month.


Nigeria has featured in five World Cup tournaments in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014 but the Eagles have never gone beyond the second round before. This time around, the team is being tasked to go one better and as part of the preparations for the bug dance in Russia, the Eagles will play Poland in the city of Wroclaw on March 23 and four days later will face Serbia as Barnet's The Hive Stadium in north London.


Coach Rohr is expected to invite at about 35 players for the two friendly games, which will serve as a screening exercise as he finalises his list of 23 who will go to Russia. Mr Rohr, who said he believes the country has all it takes to surpass her previous best of round of 16, admits both he and the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) have been working round the clock to ensure the Super Eagles are fully ready before the Mundial.


“We have set a target to reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup and for this reason, we are taking only the best players who are fit and in good form. We have a good programme going to Russia with series of friendly games that will put us in shape for the World Cup.


“I believe it’s not going to be an easy one but I’m confident that with the right preparations and logistics being put in place, the team will do well. The idea is to have three players for every position in camp from where I would probably pick the best two each and three of the five goalkeepers for the World Cup in Russia,” Mr Rohr added.


He commended the NFF for the way they sorted out the players’ bonuses and allowances, adding that this will allow the team to concentrate on the game with the assurance that their money is safe. Nigeria has already lined up sponsors for the Eagles this time around, with the likes of Coca-Cola and Nigerian Breweries all pledging to back the team in Russia.