Having stated on previous occasions that his team are not ready for the 2018 Fifa World Cup, Gernot Rohr is confident that Nigeria will make it in time for their opening Group D clash against Croatia.
The Super Eagles head into the global showpiece in uninspiring fashion, with the record of their final three friendlies reading two losses and a draw.
But the German tactician hinges his hope on the ability of his team ‘to rise to the occasion together’, and is confident of the three-time African champions handing Zlatko Dalic’s men a tough test at the Kaliningrad Arena on Saturday.
“We will take it one match at a time. I love this group because we know how to rise to the occasion together. Nigeria will be ready for Croatia,” Rohr told NFF website.
Fittingly, Nigeria are the lowest ranked team in Group D, made up of Argentina [fifth], Saturday opposition Croatia [20th] and Iceland [22nd].
Losses to England and Czech Republic culminated in the Super Eagles heading to the global tourney as the worst-placed African side  in Fifa ranking.
However, Rohr, reiterating his team’s captain John Obi Mikel’s stance, is ‘okay’ with his side’s ‘underdog’ label.
“We are okay with the garb of the underdog. But the defeats have done something for us – we have our heads firmly on our shoulders and we are focused.
“Together, we have reviewed the matches and learnt so many lessons. We will approach the World Cup matches differently.”
On Monday, the Super Eagles are expected to depart their Aviva Resort camp, Bad Tatzmannsdorf in Austria to resume at their World Cup base camp in Essentuki, Russia.