After days of Presidential electioneering and waiting for the results, can we have our lives back? Please?
The CAF competitions resume this weekend and somehow it is looking like we are only hope of Nigeria in the Continent. Kano Pillars of course imploded in Tunisia and Warri Wolves despite a 2-0 lead are not even sure of making their trip for their second leg. So realistically, even though ours is a very slender lead, we appear the most likely to move into the next round.
1-0 is a slender lead, a very very slender one but we have an advantage because we have a clean sheet and our opponents need to put up an attacking display, much different from the defensive approach they put up in Aba three weeks ago. Another slender advantage is the fact that we will just be playing our opponents and not their fans too as the game will be played behind closed doors. So we have a tough fixture but we can go through.
Striker Chinonso Okonkwo spoke after training yesterday on the team’s chances and what they expect of their Egyptian opponents.
“We are ready. We have been training, there are no injuries and everybody is back to the team. Smouha is a good side, tactical and very good and I think they play to instruction because their plan was to defend. They came to play for a draw in Aba and 1-0 is almost like a draw, so their plan worked”.
“The advantage is that we won in Aba and we did not concede so as we are going there, we will like to score because it will be an open game. They were defensive so scoring against them was hard. But there by the time they come out to score, we will have our chances”.
He also spoke of his new strike partner, Peter Onyekachi, who he believes he can forge a great partnership with;
“He (Peter) is a very good striker. He is strong and he can dribble with the ball. He’s not stingy. He passes the ball to someone who is in a better position. We can be the best strike partnership, we are understanding each other better”.
“The target is to play well for the team and to score. The team comes first because not everybody will score. When I cannot score, I will create chances for others to score”.
Excellent thoughts if you ask me. It’s always good to hear our players talk in this manner. The performance on the day of course is a different ball game but having your head focused in the right direction is crucial and can influence your attitude in an encounter.
Nonso is one of the older heads in the team as this is his 4th year for us. He probably doesn’t get all the praise he merits because he doesn’t score as much goals as his hard-work in games deserve. No doubt he needs to work on his finishing as a striker but he brings a lot of drive and strength to the team. Both of which will be crucial in Egypt at the weekend.
Truth is this is a fixture we can progress from but we must be committed to achieving that from the blast of the whistle. Chances will come no doubt and we must finish them up as they come.
In the next few days we shall have more thoughts and views on both teams as we get ready for Sundays encounter.
Should be all for today, be with you tomorrow guys.