Gernot Rohr has explained why he delayed with his substitution during the 2-1 loss to Argentina on Tuesday evening.
Apart from introducing ex-Watford striker Odion Ighalo at half-time, the Super Eagles manager had to wait until the 90th minute before making his second change, bringing out Kenneth Omeruo for Alex Iwobi, then made a third substitution in the second minute of injury time.
The German has revealed that Kelechi Iheanacho was not fit to start the game and his Leicester City teammate Ahmed Musa refused to be substituted, with the number seven assuring the coach he was okay to carry on.
”There was a change already at half-time, so you cannot say it’s late changes. Then we did so well, we had one day less after the difficult match with Iceland and Argentina played the day before,” Rohr said at the post-match press conference.
”I wanted to bring out Ahmed Musa but he said he wanted to stay and was fit to finish the match, we were waiting for the end of the match to make two other changes, everybody did well, nobody had to go out.
”If I had seen what happened in the first half, perhaps I would not have started with the same team because one of my players was not really fit and he went out halftime but you never can know.
”It’s possible one player in the starting XI is not fit, we have to accept that and make the change.”
Nigeria were eliminated from the World Cup after finishing third in Group D with three points.