The coach of Enyimba International football club, Usman Abdu’Allah, has hailed the work of his counterpart, Fidelis Ilechukwu, ahead of their top of the table clash on Sunday.
It is first against second in Group A when leaders, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries football club, MFM, hosts second placed Enyimba in an NPFL week 13 tie at the Soccer Temple in Agege.
The match will be the sixth ever between the two sides, and the third for the visitors under Abdu’Allah, who while very effusive in his praise of their opponents on Sunday, MFM, and their manager, Ilechukwu, was quick to add that the People’s Elephant have what it takes to conquer the home side.
Speaking exclusively to ACLSports.com after their final training session in Agege on Friday, Abdu’Allah said;
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“They are a very good side, there is no doubt about it. The coach [Ilechukwu] is doing a very good job. When you look at football, Nigerian football is changing, and seeing a team like this and a young coach trying to blend a young team- most of them have never played in the league- but people can see that they are at the top of the table.”
“So, you can see that we have hope for Nigerian football, the coach is doing very well.”
“But notwithstanding, we also have a capable team that can come and conquer [them].”
The match at Agege will be Enyimba’s seventh on the road this season but they are yet to taste victory away from home with three draws and three defeats in their previous six.
However, with just three points separating the Aba side from their hosts on Sunday, Abdu’Allah is aware that it will be a battle to claim their first away win of the season at a venue where MFM has not lost this season but says his side is prepared to face the ‘young and vibrant’ Olukoya Boys.
“We are prepared, we are here, ” he said. “We are here with all seriousness.”
“This will be my third match against them and the last two matches we won. In the first game [this season] our team wasn’t doing well, we started slowly, we didn’t compose the team in what we wanted but we managed to beat them comfortably.”
“So, it is going to be a different scenario now. The league is being played with lots of matches and most of them [Enyimba players] have blended well and tomorrow’s game is going to be an outstanding one, which we hope to confirm our superiority.”
“They have a young and vibrant team, and we also have young and experienced players. So, it is going to be a battle to watch.”
MFM are unbeaten at the Soccer Temple this season, with six wins from six and according to Abdu’Allah, the key to his side ending their search for a first away win will be how they are able to match MFM’s youthfulness and determination.
“We take every match particular for a certain reason, ” he added. “We have studied this team, we have seen their characteristics, there is youthfulness in that team, there is zeal to work and determination. So, we have to come up with something that can combat that. We have been in this situation so many times and it is matter of points. We need to slow them down.”
“As far as i am concerned, the second round match is a determining factor because if we happen to win against MFM, we are half way there because we already have three points out of six. So, anything that we can grab here, it is a positive thing for us. If we manage to win, fine, that is what we are going to do because since the beginning of the season, we haven’t had any away win- that is the difference [and reason] they are on top.”