Kano Pillars boss Ibrahim Musa has assessed his team’s performance in the first half of the season and delivered a verdict of immense satisfaction, adding that a shot for the league title is the focus for the next stanza.
After a difficult start, Pillars ended the first stanza of the 2020-21 Nigeria Professional Football League season in exceptional form, winning four games on the bounce to keep pace with Kwara United at the top of the league before the mid-season break.
No team has won more than their 11 games and only Abia Warriors (30), Heartland and Kwara United (25 each) have scored more than Pillars’ 23 goals this season, most of them coming from the boots of ageless midfield legend Rabiu Ali whose seven-goal haul is bettered by only two players.
These are all cause for Musa, who has guided the team to joint-top with Kwara United since reassuming control following the resignation of French journeyman Emmanuel Lionel Soccoia, to look ahead to the rest of the season with great optimism.
“Generally, our boys are doing well, because I think, from the first five matches, we were about 10 to 12th position. After that, we’ve come 3rd, 2nd up to date till the end of the first stanza,” he reflects.
“So we’re doing well, the board of Kano Pillars are doing well, and the state government are doing well.”
The target for the rest of the season, Musa says, is for the four-time NPFL champions to maintain their pace and position when the season resumes for the second half.
It is a goal he acknowledges will be challenging to achieve giving the intense battle in this season’s title race, but having led Sai Musa Gida to their first-ever Federation Cup title in 2019, Musa intends to put in the work on the training ground to give Pillars a first league crown since 2014 or barring that, a place in next season’s Champions League.
“So, you know, being a champion is easy, but to maintain (being) a champion is difficult,” Musa told busybuddiesng.com. “So that’s what is going to happen now. So being at 2nd position, it’s easy to be at 2nd position.
“To maintain it, or to maintain the 1st position, that is the most difficult. So, that is why now, we’re going back to training after the break. We’re going back to training to work against our lapses, then to see our boys maintain that 1st or 2nd position, and at the end to see Kano Pillars be the champions or qualify to the continent, that is my plan.”