‘We want to make Nigerians happy’ – Gernot Rohr on Super Eagles’ mission in Russia

The three-time African champions will be begin their quest for glory on the world stage with a tie against the Croats on Saturday

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has stated that his team’s mission at the 2018 Fifa World Cup is to make Nigerians happy with results, attitude and game style.

The Super Eagles will be aiming to go beyond the second round at the global tournament since their maiden appearance in 1994, with a youthful squad.

They are paired with Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in Group D, and Rohr has assured that his squad are out to put smiles on the 180 million Nigerians with their approach in games.

“We know this pressure. We have this all the time. We had it in qualifiers. I’m sure we’ll make Nigerians happy. We have such a young team, maybe this World Cup is too soon for them,” Rohr said in his pre-match conference ahead of Croatia tie.

“We have the youngest squad, so maybe 2022 will be their World Cup. We want to make Nigerian people happy, it’s not only the results, it’s the attitude and the way we play.

“Football must also bring values to this big country. It will be a chance for Russian people and Nigerians to show the good values we share.”

The Super Eagles will battle Zlatko Dalic’s charges for the first time on the international scene at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Saturday with the aim of starting their World Cup quest on a winning note.

Unfazed by Croatia’s position [20th] in the recent Fifa ranking, the 53-year-old tactician is confident that his men can stun the European team to ‘get a good result’.

“It’s always exciting to play for the first time against a country. We are not the favourite of this group, Croatia are the favourite of this game,” he continued.

“Croatia are much higher than us in the FIFA rankings. We are supposed to finish last in this group according to the FIFA ranking. We are humble, modest, and ambitious, and we are wanting to get out of the group, so we have to get a good result tomorrow.”

The Super Eagles were camped in Austria between June 3 and 10 before arriving in Russia on Moday evening. On arrival at their Essentuki Team Base Camp the following day, they were welcomed by local fans.

And the German tactician has expressed satisfaction with the country’s preparation for the quadrennial showpiece.

“We are excited to play this World Cup in this wonderful country. We had two camps, one in Austria in very good conditions, and then we found a wonderful place in Essentuki where we had a very warm welcome. We are very good there,” he added.

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