Francis Uzoho has made a total of three appearances for the Super Eagles.
Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has stated that 19-year-old goalkeeper Francis Uzoho is not the team’s weakness ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
After the game some Nigerian supporters have expressed fear that the 19-year-old is a weak link and may not be ready to compete at the World Cup.
Rohr has, however, come out to back Uzoho in goal ahead of the tournament.
Rohr stated that the goalkeeping position should not be seen as a weak link as the team has two good goalkeepers in Uzoho and Ikechukwu Ezenwa.
He said, “I don’t think goalkeeping is the weak link in my team,”
“After we lost Carl Ikeme to sickness, we had what seemed like a goalkeeping crisis but Ikechukwu Ezenwa did well in the qualifiers but we kept looking for options.”
Rohr stated that going into the World Cup, the team must have two good options as goal keepers, and also backed the Deportivo Fabril goalkeeper for his performances in the friendly games.
“Francis Uzoho came as an option because to go to the World cup, you require two good goalkeepers and I must say he has done well in the three games he has played for the Super Eagles that I won’t be afraid to start him in our opening game against Croatia at the World Cup in Russia.”
Rohr praised the characteristics of Uzoho and refused to blame him for the defeat against Serbia.
“Francis is good and tall, and he is ready to learn. He did well in the friendly games against Argentina and Poland with two clean sheets and conceded two goals against Serbia in his third game in which I experimented with some players and tactics.” He said.
Uzoho had the opportunity to play against Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski who is regarded as one of the top strikers in Europe, and Rohr hopes the experience will help the young goalkeeper at the World Cup.
He said, “I don’t believe he will get stage fright playing against the likes of Messi and other big names in Russia, because after playing against the likes of Lewandowski of Poland, Aguero and Di Maria of Argentina, I am optimistic that he would rise to the occasion in Russia.”
Rohr finally confirmed that the 35-man preliminary Super Eagles list will submitted to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF)of Friday, May 4.