Abuja – Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr has hailed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for the “professional and committed manner” it handled the team’s 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Eagles were Africa’s first qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup slated for Russia in the process.
Not only were the three-time African champions unbeaten in what was styled “Group of Death’’, the Eagles picked the ultimate prize in that group with a game to spare.
Rohr, in a statement on the NFF website, said NFF’s professional approach to the team’s preparations for all their six qualifiers played a pivotal role in the team’s success.
“For sure, we must commend the NFF for the role they played right from that game in Ndola against Zambia to last Friday’s game in Constantine against Algeria.
“Apart from putting together excellent arrangements for our games at home, they ensured we travelled in comfort to all our away games.
“And the fact that our away travels were always direct on chartered flights made sure we had very good recovery period between games.
“This also helped to manage the few days we usually have because of the congested and very small number of the FIFA international days,” Rohr said.
Nigeria won four games and drew two to finish top of their group with 14 points, six ahead of second-placed Zambia.
In both drawn games away from home, they were pegged back by late penalty kicks to the hosts in the dying minutes.
This, no doubt, underlined the Super Eagles’ praiseworthy performance throughout the campaign.
Rohr said this was down to paying attention to little details.
“From the time the draw was made for the group series of the qualifiers, we knew that in a difficult group like the one we were in, the difference between success and failure could be down to little things that most people would take for granted.
“But, I am happy that the NFF were very professional, passionate and committed to the cause.
“Their great planning and arrangements made the players to focus on the football only. So, we got the best out of them.
“Now we cannot rest on our oars because there is a bigger challenge ahead of us. We have to prepare better and focus even more as we get set for the World Cup next year,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NFF has disclosed that Russia-based Bryan Idowu on Saturday night joined up with the rest of the Super Eagles squad after they arrived in Krasnodar, Russia.
In a video posted on the NFF Twitter handle, Idowu said: “It’s a big privilege for me to be part of this great squad. I will definitely give my best in order to remain a part of this team.
“It’s a big honour for me to be called into the Super Eagles. I will give this opportunity my very best shot so (that) I can stay here for a long time.
“I believe this team will put smiles on the faces of Nigerians at the World Cup next year,” he said.
Krasnodar will host Tuesday’s international friendly between Nigeria and Argentina.