Nigeria’s head coach, Gernot Rohr has defended his decision to invite John Mikel Obi who has not played for Chelsea this season for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria slated for the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on Saturday.
Rohr disclosed that Mikel’s wealth of experience would be very crucial and that it would be wrong on his part to punish the Chelsea midfielder for the sin he didn’t commit.
“I spoke about Mikel’s situation with Chelsea’s Technical Director, Mike Emenalo who is a Nigerian. He is training very well and has games in training sessions,” Rohr said.
“It is not right that he is not playing presently for Chelsea and we all know why. He decided to leave the club to play for Nigeria at the Olympics and he was punished for that. I cannot punish a player who has come to play for Nigeria.
“Mikel is fit and I hope he can play 90 minutes and if he gets exhausted before the regulation time and tells me, other players can come in. He has been fantastic in training since he came in this week. He played lots of matches at the Olympics and was available for our games with Tanzania and Zambia. I have confidence in him.”
The German has called on Nigerians to rally round his team and that he has invited the players he feels can get the job done on Saturday in Uyo.