Plateau United coach Abdu Maikaba has told www.busybuddiesng.com his side needs ‘all the necessary support’ to achieve their target of reaching the semi-finals of the 2020/2021 CAF Champions League.
The Peace Boys finished top of the aborted 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season on the Points Per Game (PPG) table, and as a result, will represent Nigeria, alongside 2-time winners Enyimba, in the lucrative CAF Champions League for the first time since 2018.
Despite enjoying unflinching financial support in recent times from the Plateau State Government – sponsors of the club – the former Akwa United coach admits the 2017 NPFL champions will require even more backing and hard work to realize their last-four ambition in the competition – a feat which was last achieved by a Nigerian club – Sunshine Stars in 2012.
“They (Plateau State Government) gave us enough support, but actually, we have to work very hard to achieve that target,” he said. “Getting to the semi-finals (of the CAF Champions League) is not an easy task, and we have to work very, very hard. We have to be given all the necessary support to get there.
“In terms of personnel, like replacement of players, I have to get the support to make the replacement effective. If not, the team will not even be as strong as last season.”
Plateau United’s bid to reach the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League next season requires adequate preparations amongst other things. However, the restriction on contact sports in the country due the Covid-19 pandemic has ensured on-field preparations are yet to get underway as the players are not permitted to even train.
In the light of the above situation, Maikaba wants the authorities to grant Plateau United and the other three continental campaigners a waiver to enable them commence training so they can give Nigeria quality representation in the CAF inter-club competitions next season.
“We have to start our preparation as early as possible, and the way things are going, the government haven’t given the permission to start training. It is going to be very difficult,” the former Wikki Tourists handler stated.
“I don’t want a situation whereby all our opponents are there preparing themselves for the CAF Champions League, (and) we are still here waiting for the government to give the go-ahead to even start training.
“So, we actually need the support of the government, especially the four clubs (Plateau United, Enyimba, Rivers United and Kano Pillars) that will represent Nigeria. They should give us that support to actualize our objective.
“If we don’t get that support, to start our preparation early, I don’t think reaching our target is going to be possible.”