Gernot Rohr played serious mind games with the Super Eagles before they will go past Algeria in a crunch World Cup qualifier earlier this month, team officials have opened up.
Rohr’s mind games included telling his players straight up that the Algerians were better than them and also pasting in the team’s meeting room the photos of their opponents before the big match.
Rohr psychological challenge was also helped by his match reader, who incidentally has previously worked with Algeria coach Georges Leekens.
“Rohr is the great psychologist. He challenged the players to bring out their best against Algeria by openly telling them the North Africans were better than them,” said a highly impressed team official.
“His mind game also included having the photos of all the Algerian players pasted in the team’s meeting rooms so much so that by the time they met these same players on the pitch on match day they already knew them.”
Added to this was the fact that Rohr match reader also worked with Leekens at Anderlecht and Tunisia and so Nigeria had an inside track of how the Algeria coach tactical mind works.
“When Leekens got to know that the match reader was on the Nigeria bench, he knew it would be very difficult for him to outfox Rohr,” said another team official.
The Super Eagles stormed to a convincing 3-1 home win to consolidate their leadership of their qualifying group for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Algeria are now bottom of the group after two rounds of matches.