We are not looking at relegation, we are only looking at points available. – Udi
Sunshine Stars head coach Duke Udi continues to earn rave reviews after his side earned another difficult victory, moving a step towards safety.
Ajibola Otegbeye’s first half penalty was all the Owena Waves needed to edge 3rd placed Akwa United 1-0 in Sunday’s Match Day 33 match in Ijebu-Ode. Victory lifted Sunshine Stars back to 11th on the log, the highest they have climbed since Duke Udi took charge in June.
As lofty as their current placement may look, there is still some work for Udi’s charges as they sit just three points above the relegation zone meaning that a loss against Rangers in Enugu next weekend could further plunge them into messy waters. Udi assures that they have their eyes on the ball.
“We’re not looking at relegation, we’re only looking at the points available”, Udi told ACLSports.
“There are still 15 more points for us to fight for so we don’t look at the relegation side but we look at the points we want to garner.”
Sunshine’s rise to 11th is partly a product of their quickfire away successes at ABS and Rivers United, and Udi admits they helped to propel them up the log despite a home loss to Nasarawa United sandwiching them.
“Those results gave us a big lift although it is sad we lost to Nasarawa at home (in Ijebu-Ode) in between but those two games propelled us to where we are now on the table.”
Sunshine Stars’ win on Sunday came against the Promise Keepers who Ceteris Paribus will feature in a continental competition next year. Udi, who played in the CAF Champions League for Shooting Stars of Ibadan during his hey days is convinced Akwa United can give Nigeria quality representation.
“They are a fantastic team with good players and a very sound technical man in (Abdu) Maikaba. They’ve been doing wonderfully well and gave us a good run for our money. I believe they can represent us well if they qualify for the continent,” endorsed the former Lobi Stars player.
Udi and his charges at Sunshine Stars next travel to Enugu for a date with the reigning NPFL champions Rangers at the Nnamdi Azikwe stadium on Sunday.