Rohr explains why Onovo was handed late call-up; Simon, Marcus tested at fullback pre-Cameroon
Published: June 07, 2021
Rohr explains why Onovo was handed late call-up; Simon, Marcus tested at fullback pre-Cameroon
Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has revealed that he was forced to hand a late call-up to Ujpest star Vincent Onovo for the second friendly against Cameroon because he was short at center-back heading into the fixture.

The Super Eagles were hit with an injury crisis with central defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Semi Ajayi, Leon Balogun and Kevin Akpoguma not traveling to Austria due to physical discomfort.

Fulham's Ola Aina and Twente's Tyronne Ebuehi who are both comfortable playing on the right of a three-man defence also pulled out of the squad, citing injuries.

"He (Onovo) came because we didn't have any defenders no more on the bench so we need him," Rohr said to the Super Eagles Media Team.

"He's coming from Hungary, it's not so far away, two hours by car, he came in the last moment, he made a good training.

"He can play central defence or defensive midfielder and also with Anthony we have now two guys on the bench who can come in."

Rohr has hinted at lining up his team in a 3-5-2 formation, with Nantes winger Moses Simon and CD Feirense's Abraham Marcus in contention to be deployed as wing-backs or fullbacks, depending on whether the team is attacking or defending.

The two players played in the fullback position during the Super Eagles final workout on Monday and passed the test with flying colours.

"We have even Moses Simon who can play fullback, he did it very well in the training session and also Marcus who is normally a winger had to play left-back, he did it well.

"It is interesting and they work in a good spirit and the quality of the last training session was very good," Rohr added.

Onovo, goalkeeper John Noble and Izuchukwu Anthony are the three uncapped players in the Super Eagles squad before tomorrow's friendly with Cameroon.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel

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