Rohr explains Iheanacho, Mikel absence from Eagles

Rohr and Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye at the pre-match presser
Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi, and striker, Kelechi Iheanacho need time to stay with their clubs, hence their absence from the Super Eagles team to play Seychelles on Friday and Egypt on Tuesday and this is according to Gernot Rohr, the coach of the side.

Reacting to questions bordered around the absence of the two players from his squad list, Rohr explained that he had spoken with Iheanacho to let him know he would not be part of the team.

I told him why he is not in the list. I want to see other strikers in this last opportunity to invite other people because there is no other FIFA window for us to make our list.

Kelechi for the moment, I think is playing in a club there is a new coach so it is better for him to stay back in his club during this FIFA window to show his new club and his news manager why he needs to get back in the first team of Leicester,” Rohr said.

But it was not just all about performances for his club because it seemed the coach was not too pleased with the turn out of Iheanacho the last time he was with the Eagles.

We are also not satisfied with his performances the last time, and I think he must be more professional. It is not good enough to be all the time funny, we must show we are serious working every day in the training sessions.

We need to show seriousness working every day in the training sessions and that we want to come back with the team in the club and with us,” Rohr warned.

Obi, busy at Middlesbrough

With John Mikel Obi's absence from the team, it will mean he has been out of the Eagles for one year, by the time the Africa Cup of Nations is played in June.

Gernot Rohr also explains why the captain is once again not part of the Super Eagles.

Obi is playing once again in Middlesbrough since a few weeks and he is doing very well but he still has a lot of problems with his knee and it is not time to come back for him in this condition.

They have so many games right now in Middlesbrough. They are fighting for the playoffs and he told me that it is not the moment to come back so the question was not there for him to come back,” Rohr explained.

Rohr continued that he will never completely shut the door on any player in the national team like the German national team coach, Joachim Löw.

I am not Löw who announced that three players are out definitively from the German National Team.

I not say that because you never know what can happen. You can have injuries or great performance from the players you think are finished,” he explained.

We also need experience in our team. We have so many young players in our team. Again I think we are younger than in the last list so the experience of the players is very important.”

But the German says he cannot bother about how he would ease Mikel Obi back into the team until a time that the captain returns to the team.

The right approach is the next game

With a policy of the next game is the most important, the Super Eagles coach says they will be focussing on Seychelles first, then Egypt.

For these games, Seychelles is the most important game, because the next game is always the most important.

We also want to help the under twenty-three team. If we can help we will help. We want them to go to Tokyo (for the Olympic Games).”

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