Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Gernot Rohr has reacted to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) draw, which saw his team drawn in a group of newbies.
The draw for the 32nd edition of the flagship continental tournament took place behind the Giza Pyramids in Egypt on Friday night.
Nigeria was drawn in Group B alongside Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi on their return to the competition having failed to qualify in the last two editions.
With 24 teams jostling for the trophy this time around, and drawn in Group A to F, the two top–placed teams from each group, as well as the best four third–placed teams, will qualify for the knockout rounds of the competition.
Speaking after the draw in Egypt, Rohr told NFF media: “It is a tough group and we have to be at our best and our fittest.
“Guinea has a young, tough team and we will have to be at our best against them. Burundi eliminated Gabon even with their Pierre Aubameyang.
“Madagascar was the first team to qualify. It would be a great showpiece of football but it is important for our players to avoid injuries as the season heads towards the end,” he added.
On his part, Super Eagles’ captain Ahmed Musa said: “I think it is a tough group for the Super Eagles. It is important for us to stay fit and avoid injuries so that everyone would be in great shape in Egypt.
“We have a young team who have played at the World Cup but have not played at the AFCON. For me, we are ready for any country in Egypt. It would be an interesting experience.”
Meanwhile, Gernot Rohr has revealed that the Eagles will take on the Black Stars of Ghana and the Teranga Lions of Senegal in friendlies ahead of the finals.
He mentioned that the game against Ghana will be played in Nigeria, while that of Senegal will be in Egypt just before the competition begins.
The AFCON is billed to hold between June 21 and July 19, 2019 in six cities of Egypt.
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