Nigeria lost 0-2 to Croatia in their opening group D of the World Cup 2018 in Russia with coach Gernot Rohr lining up his wards in a 4-2-3-1 formation in the game which was played at Kaliningrad.
Former captain of the Super Eagles Austin Okocha questioned the decision of the coach to line up his players the way he did saying he should have used the 3-5-2 formation, which has proven to be a better formation for the team in previous games.
Rohr was asked about his decision to ditch the effective 3-5-2 for his preferred 4-2-3-1 and the coach explained that the formation he used worked and it was avoidable errors that made them to lose the tie.
He argued that his team didn’t concede in open play, hence the system they used can’t be blamed for the defeat and that the 3-5-2 isn’t the best formation when playing against a team like Croatia.
“We didn’t concede in normal play, we conceded only two goals from set pieces. This is not a question of tactics or system. Our system was okay, we cannot play with three (at the back) when there is only one centre forward.
“We played with four defenders because there were three Croatian strikers who are very strong. I was satisfied with the organisation of the team but what we missed in the game is being professional from set pieces. Each game is different. We know we can play with three centre backs but it was not a good day (Saturday) to do that.”