Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr has said that the decision to drop Semi Ajayi and Kelechi Iheanacho from his final Africa Cup of Nations squad was taken prior to the friendly match against Zimbabwe on Saturday.
The German tactician revealed that he had been monitoring the performance of Nigerian players before they arrived for their camp in Asaba, adding that it was difficult for him to rate the players because of the rainy conditions in the goalless draw with the Warriors.
"You cannot judge from one game in these conditions. We already have our opinion before the match because we observed them throughout the season and we saw what they did and also all week in the training sessions," Rohr explained after the friendly.
"We had seven training sessions to see the fitness, confidence of the players. It’s not this match alone that will give us a decision on the two players we have to drop."
No less than seven offensive players were given a run-out against Zimbabwe, but Rohr has stressed that won’t be the case at the Africa Cup of Nations.
"You see that we played with seven strikers, all the strikers who deserve to play. We started with three strikers, the others came in," said Rohr.
"Normally in a match you cannot bring so many strikers. We played with a lot of offensive players.
"We have Chukwueze, Kalu, Henry, Osimhen, Paul, Simon also. The choice of dropping two players is really difficult for me."