Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma has described his current squad as a ‘work in progress’ ahead of their CAF Champions preliminary round clash with Tanzanian giants Young Africans in a fortnight.
The Pride of Rivers, who finished as runners-up last season in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), warmed up for their continental clash with Yanga by beating NPFL champions Akwa United 1-0 in Port Harcourt on Sunday in a friendly encounter, thanks to a Fortune Omoniwar ninth-minute strike.
Eguma’s side are also billed to face the Promise Keepers again on Tuesday in Uyo as part of preparations for their clash with the 22-time Tanzanian champions in the weekend of 10-12 September, 2021.
In a move to bolster his squad, the experienced tactician has added defenders John Lazarus, Ebube Duru (from Lobi Stars) and forward Nyima Nwagua (from Kano Pillars) to his ranks, and the trio saw action in the game on Sunday.
However, Eguma admitted that preparations for the Yanga clash has been ‘tedious’, as he tries to build a new team.
“Well, it has been very, very interesting and very tedious, I must tell you,” he said about his side’s preparations for the CAF Champions League.
“As soon as last season ended, we never rested, we had to swing into action, considering the fact that we were behind the CAF calendar. We had to do everything possible to see if could raise a team to play in the Champions League. And I think that’s what we are doing now.
“We injected some new players in the team, very few of them. And I think that most of them are responding, and their performance is encouraging.
“And I believe that if we keep working this way, I think we can get there, but it’s still work in progress.”
The 2005 CAF Confederation Cup finalists (as Dolphins) were knocked out the competition last season in the Playoff stage by fellow NPFL side Enyimba.