Super Eagles of Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has revealed that the starting XI to play against Croatia in their World Cup opener is set, although he won’t be making it known till the last minute.
“We have our team in our head already, but we will wait until the last moment to publish the team that will start the game,” Rohr told the media on Wednesday.
The Super Eagles suffered three straight friendly game defeats to Serbia, England, and the Czech Republic in preparation for the tournament, but Rohr has insisted that the results are not as important as the reasons for which the games were played.
“This was good preparation and it gives us the possibility to see who was really fit physically, and who has to work more,” the German added. Mikel Obi also agreed with the German coach as he explained that the games were needed to try out new things.
“We wanted to try something different going into the tournament,” the former Chelsea star said.
“Every country has different formations and different players, so it was a good time for us also to try different formations and different players.
“But we know how we play, we know what we can give. Now it’s the tournament and we have to focus on the tournament. We want to be Nigeria and play our way, and hopefully we can do that on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Rohr has expressed the belief that the team is tactically ready for their first game:
“We know what we want to do. We saw, of course, the Croatia team playing the two last friendlies, just like they watched what we did against England and Czech.
“It is very important to be in the right moment in terms of games and motivation for this young team.”