Gernot Rohr has criticised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for sacking him as the Super Eagles coach, maintaining that the team’s performance under him was not below expectations.
The German, who is Nigeria’s longest-serving coach, was fired earlier in the week following some unconvincing results with the 1994 African champions.
But the coach has faulted the move, insisting that he met all targets set by the NFF upon his appointment in 2016.
“It was not necessary to do this so close to AFCON,” he told ESPN, saying the team had chances to score more goals in their last two matches – against Sierra Leone and Cape Verde but were unlucky.
“After what the team did, and after what the team had achieved with [reaching] the targets… but it happened, and we are realistic people.”
According to him, the Super Eagles had become better since he took charge, citing the team’s improved FIFA ranking.
Rohr said that he has built a reliable team since 2016 and tipped them for glory in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.
“Everybody knows that we are close to the AFCON, and I think this team should win it because this team is built to win matches, important matches, decisive matches,” he added.
Beyond his sacking and the team’s performance, Rohr also refuted claims by the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, that he had lost the dressing room.
He claimed that the football body had been planning to sack him over a year ago. This, he said, was the reason they brought in Austin Eguavoen to become a part of his crew.
“The dressing room was 100% behind me,” Rohr noted and hoped that “it will also be 100% behind the new coach [Eguavoen]”.