Exclusive : How Rohr led Eagles can win 2019 AFCON – Westerhof

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Francis Achi

In an exclusive interview with totorinews.com, 1994 AFCON winning coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Clemens Westerhof has revealed the factors that can make Gernot Rohr, the current gaffer of the Super Eagles to excel in AFCON tournament in Egypt.

Westerhof, who was finally given the allocation of the house that was promised him 25 years ago after winning the AFCON in Tunisia said that it was a beautiful experience to have coached the most talented group of players ever assembled in Nigeria that shocked the world with their scintillating football at the USA’ 94 and for any foreign coach to get the desired results in the Super Eagles, he must understand that Nigerians hates to lose any football game.

“Nigeria is my home. I know Nigerians very well. The people are love crazy with football and they hate to lose any football game. Your coach is a German and he must know that. You have good players and then you must have good tactics and discipline to make the team win in Africa.” Westerhof told totorinews.com.

Some of the players in present Super Eagles

“You have a lot of good players in Nigeria and abroad. The time to win is now. Dont say in few years. It is now to perform very well. The players must not ask stupid things or act stupid on the pitch. He must ensure this in the national team,” he added.

The Dutch tactician at 79, also emphasised the need for the Super Eagles to be strong as a team and acts like a united family all through the tournament, adding that the coach must consider carefully the condition of every player in the team.

“The players must come together as a team, as a strong and united family. The coach must have the players in camp and monitor them closely. The coach has to check the condition of every player. If a player was on the bench most of the season at his club in Europe, he must do something special more with the player to get the best out of him.

“The condition of every player is very important to be successful as a coach and that is what i did with Jay Jay Okocha in the Super Eagles. Jay Jay Okocha was the most beautiful player i saw in the team, but he had no good condition at the beginning when he came.

Jay Jay Okocha in action against Italy at USA’94 World Cup

“So, i said Jay Jay come with me after training and let me have special session with you. Let me do 5,10, 15, 25, 40, 45, and 50 metres with you and i insisted if he does not allow me, he can go back to where he came from. Jay Jay played very nice Africa Nations Cup and the World Cup.

“If you want to succeed as a coach in Nigeria, you must identify special talented players in the team and tell them to work very hard and play together as a team.

“The coach must always tell the team that the victory is only assured after the last blow of the whistle from the referee. He is a German. He should be firm on the players if he must win in Africa.

“He has to also identify dangerous players in other teams that can punish Nigeria at AFCON. For instance, if Nigeria play Egypt , he must know that Mohammed Salla is the most dangerous player on the pitch against him, therefore he should have tactics in the game that will render Salla ineffective to hurt Nigeria in the game.

Rohr and Westerhof

“It is going to be a very difficult AFCON tournament and of course, i want the Super Eagles to win. I am more of a Nigerian now that i have my house allocation document with me and i know that Nigerians hates to lose,” he said.

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