Captain of the Super Eagles of Nigeria John Obi Mikel could miss the Africa Cup of Nations unless he meets some certain conditions, coach of the Nigerian team Gernot Rohr has revealed.
Mikel is yet to play for the Super Eagles since their exit at the group stages of the World Cup in Russia but yesterday he confirmed he is still willing to continue his role as captain of Nigeria, clearly shutting down any talks of retirement from international football.
Rohr however thinks otherwise insisting that he has to be at his best physical shape to make his team to the Cup of Nations because that is his first criteria for calling players to the national team and the captain is no exception to the rule.
“I respect Mikel, he has done a lot for the national team. He is always in the team’s plan but he has to be playing regularly like other players that would eventually be invited and must be fit,” Rohr said in Lagos.
Speaking further on how he intends to prepare his team for the AFCON in Cameroon next year, the coach said he plan to run the rule on over 50 players starting from the dead rubber AFCON 2019 Qualifiers tie against Seychelles in Uyo.
“I am happy with the performances of the new Eagles. They are fighting and giving us more open options. We are looking at about 50 players to assemble ahead of AFCON. The last Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, will also be another test ahead of the tournament.
“However, there will be more test across Europe and China, myself, Alloy Agu, Yusuf Salisu will combine all the leagues there as well to get the best legs in our preparatory plan without also exempting Nigerian Professional Football League players.”