Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma has enumerated the ‘big lessons’ his side learnt from their participation in this season’s CAF Confederation Cup, despite failing to reach the group stage of the competition.
The Pride of Rivers side overcame Futuro Kings of Equatorial Guinea 2-0 via penalties in the preliminary round before impressively thrashing South African side Bloemfontein Celtic 5-0 on aggregate in the first round to reach the playoffs stage, where they lost 5-4 on penalties to domestic rivals Enyimba.
In an exclusive interview with www.busybuddiesng.com, the long-serving tactician said he is confident 2-time African champions Enyimba will give Nigeria a good representation in the competition.
“Yeah, there are big lessons,” Eguma said when asked what he learnt from the competition. “There is no way you’ll compare the CAF Confederation Cup to the local league. They are quite different, different stage, different scenario, everything different.
“The standard too is very high.
“We started well and we were doing well until we met our brothers Enyimba, and then, we had to decide the winner by penalties. You know it was a keenly contested game, and I also like the competition we got from Enyimba. It is a big experience for us.
“I feel that Enyimba can represent the country very well too because they are a strong team and we always wish them well. I always pray for them to do better so that our ouster will not be a wasted effort.”
Enyimba are aiming to become the first Nigerian team to win the CAF Confederation Cup in its current guise since its inception in 2004.
Rivers United (then Dolphins) lost 3-1 on aggregate to Moroccan outfit FAR, Rabat in the 2005 finals.