Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr has explained why Mikel Obi will continue to be invited to the Super Eagles for World Cup Qualifying matches.
Rohr told a crowded press conference on Thursday in Uyo that the reason why the Super Eagles captain had not played for Chelsea this season was not because he was not good enough to start or play.
He added that it was for the same reason he would continue to invite Mikel Obi.
”I can never punish a player because he played for his country, and I am not happy with what is happening to Mikel at his club because he is my captain.
“The only thing that has made Mikel not to play for Chelsea this season is because he went with the U23 team that won bronze at the 2016 Olympics games, and that is why he is being punished” Rohr said.
John Mikel Obi has been with the Eagles since Tuesday and has only played competitively this season at the Olympic Games and with Nigeria at the AFCON and World Cup Qualifiers.
Focus is the key
Rohr continued that staying focused and getting a positive results were the ultimate ambitions for the team on Saturday.
“We had good preparation in Abuja when we met there for a few days and we expect victory.
“We hope to win and we can win if we play well, just like we did in the first half in Ndola,” Rohr said.
“We have also had a lot of injuries to the team. You can see that there are eight changes to the team that were not part of the team to Ndola.
“The players can change but we do not change the spirit in camp and the philosophy of the team.
“We tried to give them a good feeling to be part of the positive team spirit because we live like a family.”
Algeria will be tough
Meanwhile, in spite of all the optimism surrounding the team, Rohr explains that the Desert Foxes will be tough nuts to crack.
“We are in good position to go to Russia but it will be a very hard game,” the German said.
“All the players are here and it is very important that we have no injuries ahead of the game.”