Kwara United coach Abdullahi Biffo says the Harmony Boys remain underdogs in the title race, despite being on top of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) table at halfway stage of the season.
The Ilorin-based outfit are surprisingly at the summit of the standings with 36 points from 19 matches, and also boast the best away record this season, having won three and drawn three matches on the road so far.
Their brilliant and consistent form notwithstanding, the former Abia Warriors and Katsina United coach said the race for the NPFL title is still open, adding that his team needs to remain focused in their quest for a maiden league crown.
“We just need to be honest to ourselves, if you look at the league now, the teams from the 10th position to the 1st still have chance or the right to win the league, it’s 19 games played out of 38,” he noted.
“The only good thing we’ll do for ourselves is to be able to put our heads together to make sure we maintain the leadership or to put ourselves in a position that we can fight for the trophy before end of the season.
“Everybody knows that Kwara United are still underdogs in the title race, we’ve come this far. The only thing we need to do now is to double our efforts to see how we are going to end.”
On the impressive performance of his team so far this season, Biffo thanked the League Management Company – organisers of the NPFL – for providing teams with a level playing ground, which has resulted to so many away wins so far in the campaign.
“The first people that deserve the kudos is the LMC for making Nigerian league an opening playing field for every team,” he said. “You can go to anywhere and pick a point.
“That’s one of the major problems we coaches face before. The best the away teams think they can get is draw, even though they have the chance to get the three points. You can’t easily change that mentality.
“But the way things are going now, every team now believes you can to anywhere and pick a point, and as well, if you are not playing very well, you can lose your matches at home.”
After the two-week mid-season break, Biffo and his charges will hope to continue their impressive season with a Match Day 20 tie against Nasarawa United in Lafia on 18 April. They won the reverse fixture 2-0 in Ilorin on Sunday to end the first stanza of the campaign.