Good morning Everyone.
We nearly had a “no-show” on the blog today. Thankfully this piece from the Club’s media channel saves us from that. The said post is a transcript of a recent chat with the gaffer. It’s a bit stale news as it came up just before the ABS draw at the weekend but it’s good thoughts nonetheless.
On specific qualities that determine a young player’s readiness for the first team
One thing is: for young guys, they need someone to project them. But the player must be a good player in terms of technical abilities. Then, it is our responsibility to give him courage, fit him into the team. Make him realize he can do it. The confidence, in other words.
Aside that, he must be a solid player himself that only needs exposure. Also, we need to tolerate his inadequacies. As long as you can do that, before you know it, he’s ready.
On whether ties to Ilorin will help or hinder the team
I think every player will want to play against his former club. Though, we do not actually have anyone that has played for ABS, but they have played on this soil. No matter how you see it, some fans will have sympathy for them. They will have their fans, their personal supporters, that will want to, for their sake, support the team.
And when we do well, it will be easier for them to accept us, because some of their loved ones are in our team.
On whether the line-up from the last two games is the team’s strongest
For now. For now, this is what we can present, based on how they have gelled together. Sometimes, you might have a good player who is not ready, maybe based on injury, or even psychological challenges. For now, this is what we can present. We are just trying to develop the team, so that it becomes strong and unbeatable.
On whether a two-striker system (as used so far) is his preference
Ordinarily, everybody has his own philosophy. I have mine. You can’t just get to a team and change everything overnight, it has to take a gradual process. No two games are alike. Now we are beginning to have a stable team, we can go into other philosophies too. We will approach the games based on whatever opposition we are facing – that will determine what strategies we put up. Sometimes we’ll do it [play with two strikers], sometimes we won’t. But it has to come gradually.
On Ibenegbu’s unique skill-set and concerns over fatigue
I don’t want to say there are no perfect replacements. I don’t want to accept that. It’s just a question of time.
Enyimba lost so many quality players, and we will be doing ourselves damage if we don’t stick with those we do have and build a team around them. Gradually, we will be doing it [finding a proper deputy for Ibenegbu] by [process of] elimination and substitution… (Isn’t there a risk with experimenting within the season?) No, we’re not experimenting. It’s a gradual process.
It’s just because of the society that we are in. If not for travel, Ikechukwu has not done too much. But as you can see, more often than not, I don’t allow him last the game. So, second half, sometimes at the end of the first half, I replace him. That’s to let you know there is someone who can do exactly what he does, even though there are no two players that are alike.
So long as he can project the team, and also [contribute] in terms of the tactical aspect. It’s just a question of time. We are going to have enough, and quality substitutions for every position.
Trust it was enlightening. Forgive me if it wasn’t (especially for those who had seen the post before). There’ll be something better tomorrow. I promise.