Why I Won’t Blame Gernot Rohr – Nduka Ugbade


The Franco-German tactician has come under harsh criticisms in recent times for the national team’s poor run of results, but a former international believes the head coach has something going for him

Two-time assistant coach of the Golden Eaglets Nduka Ugbade says he does not buy into the coaching philosophy of Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr.

Still, he is pleased with how the former Gabon gaffer has infused young players into the senior national team.

Since Rohr was appointed the boss of the Nigerian national team, he has forged a team with a delicate balance of youth and experience.

Only Daniel Akpeyi and Leon Balogun are the current Super Eagles stars above 30 years.

The likes of goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, defenders Chidozie Awaziem, Ola Aina, midfielders Alex Iwobi, Samuel Chukwueze, and forwards Kelechi Iheanacho and Victor Osimhen and a few others are 25 years old or younger.

The results have been mostly positive, with Rohr guiding the team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the semifinals of the 2019 AFCON.

But recent results have been disappointing, with the Super Eagles winning none of their last four matches, including two disappointing draws against less-fancied Sierra Leone in November.

Ugbade, though, believes Rohr should not be crucified for this run of poor form because of his penchant for giving an opportunity to youngsters.

“At the moment, he has a different mindset while I also have my philosophy, which is not the same, ” the former 1985 U-17 World Cup winner told the Premium Times.

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“I don’t think I need to advise him because he’s been on the job for a long time. He is older than I do, and he is much more tactical.

“I’m not going to blame him because he is giving opportunities to younger players.”

Rohr will have the chance to salvage his battered reputation when the Super Eagles regroup in March next year in clashes against the Benin Republic and Lesotho.

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