Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr has admitted that Croatia, his side’s opponents in their first group match of this year’s World Cup, are better rated than his team, but says it does not mean Nigeria will bow to them on Saturday.
Rather than head into the match at Kaliningrad Stadium with his hands up in surrender, Rohr said the Eagles will fight to get a good result against Croatia, as they aim to set their campaign rolling against all predictions.
Speaking at a press conference at the Eagles’ camp base in Essentuki, Russia, Rohr admitted that his team are young and inexperienced compared to the Croatians.
The Eagles arrived Russia on the back of straight losses to England and Czech Republic, which raised doubts among supporters on their team’s chances at the tournament.
Rohr, however, stated that the team is battle ready for Saturday’s clash against Croatia and stated he will make a final decision on the starting line-up on the eve of the game.
The three-time African champions will hope to start their campaign on a winning note when they confront the Vatreni in Kaliningrad.
The Eagles will come up against an experienced Croatia side with a number of quality stars like Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic and co but the German coach believes his side’s enthusiasm can help them beat the Croats.
The Eagles and Croatia and have been tipped to battle for the runners-up spot in Group D but, while Rohr was full of praise for Zlatko Dalic’s side, the Franco-German tactician says the Nigerians will fight hard till the end.
“Croatia watched us against England and Czech Republic. The game will be a good one for both teams. It is an important game for the two teams as it is good to start with a win.
“They are all wonderful players…playing in biggest teams in Europe…On paper with their names, #CRO are much better than us.
“We admire this team, but we do not plan to watch them when we play against them, we hope to fight,” Rohr concluded.