“I’m going to have a hard time” – Frustrated Gernot Rohr reacts to Super Eagles sacking

The German manager had not failed any of the targets set by the NFF in his contract, but that did not save him from being dismissed on Sunday

Gernot Rohr has expressed his frustration after the Nigerian Football Federation sacked him as the Super Eagles head coach.

The German gaffer is the longest-serving Super Eagles handler after guiding the team for five years and four months.

Rohr was hired in August 2016 after Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament – where the Eagles would have defended the title they won at South Africa 2013.

With Rohr in charge, the Super Eagles made it to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and the 2019 Afcon with a game to spare in each case, even as the team finished in third place at the latter tournament.

The former Bordeaux manager was then handed a new two-year contract and charged with qualifying the three-time Afcon kings for the 2022 World Cup and winning the 2021 Afcon.

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Rohr was on course to hitting those targets, with Nigeria among the favourites to lift the title at Cameroon 2021 while the Eagles have booked a spot in the final playoff rounds for Qatar 2022.

But the NFF, on Sunday, announced the dismissal of the former Burkina Faso chief coach, with barely four weeks to the commencement of the continental championship.

Some of the reasons given by NFF boss Amaju Pinnick for Rohr’s sacking include indiscipline and the penchant for Rohr’s team to struggle to win matches.

While Rohr has refused to join issues with the football administrator, the 68-year-old has pointed out that he worked with a united group of players.

The German gaffer confessed that the Super Eagles are a great side, and it would be difficult for him to live without them.

“It’s a huge frustration, but I don’t want to argue; it’s not my style,” Rohr told AFP, as per RFI. 

“(I’m) convinced that they will have a very good CAN because the team is in place, and this very united group is ready for the challenges that await it.

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“I’m going to have a hard time doing without these great players and this very united staff, but the environment is not always favourable; we cannot control everything.”

Rohr had handled the national teams of Gabon, Niger, and Burkina Faso before he was appointed the Super Eagles coach 64 months ago.

Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye has since penned an emotional tribute to Rohr, who gave him his national team debut just over two years ago.