Nigeria coach has defensive 'headache'

Gernot Rohr
Gernot Rohr has tried four different players at rightback in three matches

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has admitted that a problem at rightback could derail the Super Eagles' quest for a place at the 2018 World Cup finals.

The Super Eagles have made an impressive start to their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

But it has become apparent that the German coach faces a major headache at right fullback.

Nigeria has struggled to find a competent rightback since the departure of Chidi Odiah in 2010.

Rohr has tried four different players in three matches as he seeks to keep the West Africans at the top of Group B.

The Super Eagles boss said: "We have been trying to find the right balance but the struggle in the rightback position is something we hope to sort out.

"Musa Muhammed played in that position against Tanzania and he was good, but he's not playing at his club in Turkey İstanbul Başakşehir.

"We have also played [Wilfred] Ndidi, [Kenneth] Omeruo and Shehu [Abdullahi] but there is no permanent man.

"This is something we have to fix."

Yisa Sofoluwe and Austin Eguavoen are both famous for providing strong cover in the rightback spot in the 1980s and 1990s before Nduka Ugbade, Mobi Oparaku, Joseph Yobo and Chidi Odiah stepped in.

Nigeria have since tried Efe Ambrose, Chibuzor Okonkwo, Ogenyi Onazi, Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun, Musa Muhammed and Sheu Abdullahi without much success.

Dutch-born defender Tyronne Ebuehi, 20, was seen as the man to plug the hole but the youngster rejected the chance to play against Algeria in a World Cup qualifier earlier this month, saying he prefers to focus on establishing himself at his Dutch club ADO Den Haag instead.

Nigeria's 3-1 over the Desert Foxes on 12 November coupled with an away victory in Zambia last month propelled them to the top of Group B.

The three-time African champions host Cameroon in back-to-back fixtures on 28 August 2017 and 2 September 2017.

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