Utaka: ‘Great Coach’ Rohr Deserves New Eagles Contract, Can Win AFCON 2021 Title

April 2, 2020
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Former Nigeria international John Utaka has expressed firm optimism that the current crop of Super Eagles players can win the Africa Cup of Nations – AFCON 2021, under the tutelage of Gernot Rohr, Completesports.com reports.

Utaka hinged his prediction on the abundance of young and quality talents at the disposal of the Nigeria’s national team coach and believes that continuity will be the Super Eagles’ strength moving forward

“The present Super Eagles are on good run that can only lead to tremendous achievement in the nearest future. This team is full of talents and quality. I believe Rohr is doing an immense job with the team and very soon Nigeria will start reaping the reward of continuity,” the former Nigeria and RC Lens winger said.

“Rohr is a great coach and he has done well to lead the Super Eagles to win bronze medal at the last AFCON in just two years of rebuilding. I wonder why NFF has not offered him a new contract to complete what he started well. The experiences of the last AFCON and World Cup will propel the team to bigger things in best future

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“I have this strong belief that the Super Eagles can win the fourth AFCON title for Nigeria next year in Cameroon if the technical crew led by Gernot Rohr is retained. The boys will benefit from their working together under same coach and maturity to nip it.”

Utaka regards his performance for Nigeria against Cameroon in the semi-final of Tunisia 2004 AFCON as the happiest moment of his football career for both club and country, and adds that he had a good tournament then though the Super Eagles lost in the final to host Tunisia.

“It was my first Nations Cup finals appearance for Nigeria and the Cameronians opened scoring through [Samuel] Eto’o, but Okocha replied with a sweet free-kick, and my goal in the second half won it for Nigeria. It was a special goal and I still cherish it till date,” Utaka recalled.

“Another game I won’t forget easily was the 2012 title winning game I played for Montpelier against Auxerre. We won 2-0 away from home and I scored. I can’t remember any game that I want to forget easily, so let us just say I don’t have dark moments in my career,” he concluded.

By Richard Jideaka, Abuja

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