Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma has declared his side are ‘back on track’ after they were held to a 1-1 draw by hosts Plateau United in a rescheduled Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match in Jos on Wednesday to end a run of back-to-back losses in the league.
Following their elimination from the CAF Confederation Cup by domestic rivals Enyimba, the Pride of Rivers slumped to a 1-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Warri Wolves and were hammered 3-0 by Akwa United – a result that led to the ‘indefinite suspension’ of key men Ifeanyi Anaemena and goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai for ‘unethical and unprofessional sportsman conduct’.
Forward Chika Godwin put Eguma’s side in front in the 17th-minute and was later sent off prior to halftime, before Ibrahim Mustapha levelled for the hosts, converting a 75th-minute penalty to deny Rivers United all three points.
The long-serving tactician believes the draw against Plateau United means his players – who were psychologically affected by their exit from the continent – have now bounced back to reckoning, and ready to relaunch their quest for the title.
“It has been a bit rough in recent times,” Eguma said. “After their ouster from the CAF Confederation Cup, the morale of the players and their psyche came down too low. We’ve been battling to bring them up.
“Within this period, we lost two valuable away matches. And I think today (Wednesday), it’s going to be a turnaround, and the spirit in camp now, I can see that it is coming up higher.
“And I believe we are back on track, and hopefully, we’ll take it from there and then surge forward to where we belong.”
Despite Wednesday’s draw at Plateau United, Rivers United remained 8th on the NPFL log, with 19points from 12 matches, still with a game in hand.
The Port Harcourt side will hope to continue their impressive home form this season – having won all five matches at their turf so far – when they host Jigawa Golden Stars on Sunday in a Match Day 14 encounter.