Former Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr has opened up on why he did not give enough minutes to the duo of Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis, while he was in charge of the national team.
The German coach was often criticized for naming almost the same set of players in his squad lists, leaving out in form players like Dennis and Awoniyi who have both been impressive for their respective clubs in recent time.
The former Liverpool striker Awoniyi was handed a maiden call up to the national team for the World Cup qualifiers against Central African Republic in October, only because Terem Moffi suffered an injury at club level before the international break.
As for the Watford forward, the in form player has been in the international wilderness for more than a year with his last appearance for Eagles coming against Sierra Leone in November 2020.
Rohr while speaking with the press said: “We have tried so many players. Awoniyi has been invited, he played 45 minutes against Central African Republic.”
“He was unlucky, but he would have been invited again. Dennis has been invited also. He came in twice against Sierra Leone.”
He continued: “We have so many strikers that you cannot invite six centre forwards. I know that all Nigerians are passionate about football, and everybody has his own favorite for this. And I understand that everybody wants to see their favorite players.”
“What is true is that perhaps I didn’t follow the suggestions or the advice of the officials to invite certain players.”
“That is possible because I wanted to do the choice with my technical staff and not with people from outside the team.”
While it’s no longer news that Rohr has been sacked by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Sunday, the German coach still backs the Eagles to do well at AFCON when the tournament commences.