After watching Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho net his first English Premier League goal this season in the 2-1 win over Everton at the weekend, Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr believes the striker can regain his fighting spirit and win back his place in the national team.
Rohr urged Iheanacho to continue working hard as that is the only way he can rediscover himself.
“Kelechi used to be an important player for us in the Super Eagles. He is a very good left footed goal scorer with good fighting spirit. I hope he gets back his confidence.
“I don’t know what caused his lack of fitness and I think it’s only his coach at Leicester City that can answer that question because I saw him last in Asaba before the AFCON and I noticed that he had fitness problem and lacked confidence,” Rohr said.
With hard work and more playing time at Leicester, the German tactician stated that Iheanacho will rediscover his goal scoring form. “I think once he has his confidence back, fitness will come as a result of hard work. He used to be powerful and quick and I know he can recover all these qualities of old,” said the former Niger Republic coach.
He added: “The way to go about that is to keep working hard and ensure he convince his coach in Leicester that he’s ready to do more. His coach (Brendan Rogers) was wondering why I didn’t call him again after the Russia 2018 World Cup because he felt he was good enough but he (Rogers) also stopped using him because he was not okay. But he’s a good guy and with hard work he can do wonders.”
Iheanacho’s who is at present a target for Aston Villa was a surprise match-winner for Leicester in their 2-1 win against Everton.
The £25m man has featured in the Carabao Cup, while the tie against Everton at the weekend was his first Premier League appearance of the season.
But Iheanacho has admitted that he has not been frustrated and is content to be Vardy’s back-up.
“As a football player you need to keep your head and concentrate when you are playing and when you are not playing,” he said.
“Everyone has to go through this at some point. You need to keep working hard and believing in yourself that one day you can get your chance. I am confident. I believe in myself if I get the chance.”