Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr revealed why Tuesday international friendly match against Ukraine marks a new beginning for Super Eagles ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers which begins in November.
Three-time Africa Champions has been drawn against Sierra Leone, Lesotho and Benin Republic as the German tactician speaking to press ahead of Dnipro Arena showdown..
Rohr said: “This match is the beginning of our preparations for the qualifying round of the next Africa Cup [of Nations]. Our team has been updated, and now we have a very young team. With a new captain. I really want to successfully start our new stage, so I hope to see a good game in the match with Ukraine, which, most likely, will reach the European Championship.”
“The match against the Shevchenko team is a challenge for us. Five years ago, I was the head coach of the Niger team, and we met with the Ukrainian team in Kiev. Lost then 1 – 2, but we were very close to a draw.
“This time, we are faced with a test game, the result of which goes into the background for us.”
Rohr absolves Ukraine officials of any blame as regards the Super Eagles’ tough travel itinerary.
“Yes, we arrived in the Dnieper on September 7th. This is related to logistics. For example, we received our luggage on Sunday. Perhaps this is due to some nuances in the work of airlines. But it certainly has nothing to do with Ukraine,” Rohr explained.
“We were very warmly received, we trained these days on the condition of Dnipro, this is a great place for playing football.”