Enyimba head coach Usman Abd’Allah says the Aba Elephants will not let “the last chance” to win a continental title this season “slip away” by taking “anything for granted” when they come up against surprise package TS Galaxy in the playoff round of the 2019/2020 CAF Confederation Cup.
Nigerian champions Enyimba were pitted against minnows TS Galaxy who play in the second-tier of South African league football in the Confederation Cup draws held in Cairo on Wednesday.
The country’s other representatives, Enugu Rangers were drawn against Togolese champions ASC Kara.
Reacting to what many have termed an easy draw for his side, Abd’Allah told the club’s media channel that he would not underrate a team which though formed in 2015, proved their mettle when they shocked powerhouses Kaizer Chiefs to win the 2019 Nedbank Cup earlier in the year.
“I don’t think it really matters if they are in the second division because they are cup winners,” Abd’Allah said. “So, they must have beaten big teams to become the cup winners and I’m not going to take anything for granted.”
“We are not taking anything for granted, we are going to treat any team as one of the best teams.”
Enyimba find themselves in the unfamiliar environment of African club football second-tier competition after a disappointing exit from the elite CAF Champions League (CAF CL) at the hands of Al Hilal Omdurman.
Indeed, it is just the third time in their history that the 2-times champions league winners will be competing in the Confederation Cup.
Abd’Allah, though, has experience in this tournament having led the Aba side to the semifinal of this competition in his first season in charge in 2018 where they lost to Raja Casablanca.
The Kano state born tactician recognises that for a club which prides itself on being continental royalty, the opportunity to win continental honours this season and their first for fifteen years, must be grabbed with both hands.
And he says that his team will “do everything possible” to ensure they remain in the hunt for the trophy by progressing to the group stage after the two-legged encounter with TS Galaxy who beat CNapS Sport of Madagascar to make the playoffs.
“We are going to take this match as important as any other match that we’ve played. The most important thing is to qualify for the group stage,” Abd’Allah said.
“Now the target is for the group stage so we are going to work and do everything possible to see that we qualify for the group stage.
“This is the last chance we’ll get and we are not going to let it slip away from our hands now. I think the team will be ready for that match.”
The first leg of the encounter will see Enyimba welcome TS Galaxy to Aba on 27 October before the return leg in South Africa on 3 November.