President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick has stressed the federation’s plans to stick with coach Gernot Rohr despite the German coming under a lot of pressure recently.
Rohr has been criticized for the Super Eagle’s failure to register a win all year long and there has been even more pressure after his team let go 4-0 lead against Sierra Leone to tie the game at 4-4 in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification game.
The height of it was when the country’s sports minister, Sunday Dare, called out the coach on Twitter, questioning his “sustainability and competence” after the return leg of their AFCON qualifier against Sierra Leone ended without a goal.
“Nobody is happy about what happened against Sierra Leone in both matches
“But it is not enough to sack the coach because his team is still top of the Nations Cup group after four matches.
“His statistics speak volumes for him, so on what indexes do we want to sack him considering the contract recently signed by both parties.
“No matter how emotional and disappointed the fans are, there’s no basis to sack him now and he deserves to keep his job,” Pinnick said in an interview with BBC Sport Africa.
Rohr has spent four years as Super Eagles manager with his biggest achievement coming at the 2019 African Cup of Nations where Nigeria finished 3rd. He also guided the team to the Russia 2018 World Cup but could not go past the first round.
Despite the Nigerian football public – from the media to former players and fans – evidently unimpressed with the coach’s tactics and choice of players, Pinnick has backed the former Bordeaux and Bayern Munich player to lead Nigeria to the Cameroon 2022 AFCON, as well as the world Cup in Qatar, in accordance with an agreement in his recently signed two-year contract.
“When you look at his performance, where he has won 29 matches, drew 14, and lost 10, you can say that is enough to back him,” said Pinnick.
“Yes, the performance in the last two games has not gone down well with some people, but we need to be professional, honest, and respectful in how we analyze things.”
In the midst of all the criticism, however, Rohr has also received praise for assembling the youngest squad at the World Cup in 2018. Also under his tutelage, the team has qualified for previous World Cup and AFCON tournaments with games to spare, an unlikely event with the West African nation in Nigeria’s recent past.