Ahead of their Super Six encounter against Kano Pillars, Enyimba of Aba head coach Usman Abd’Allah says The Peoples Elephant will “leave no stones unturned” to ensure they “grab the three points” which will be the “determining factor” in their title bid when both teams file out at the Agege Stadium in Lagos later today.
Both teams take to the pitch in the second round of fixtures in the ongoing 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) on the back of contrasting fortunes on Match Day 1.
Pillars were held to a 2-2 draw by Akwa United in their opening fixture on Tuesday while Enyimba enjoyed a slim 1-0 win over rivals Enugu Rangers. That opening day draw Abd’Allah believes, means his side must expect “a very good fight” from the Northerners which the Peoples Elephant must overcome to remain on course for the title.
Thursday’s encounter will be the first between both sides this season after they competed in different groups during the regular season – Pillars were runners up in Group B while Enyimba finished in third place in Group B – leaving Abd’Allah with little knowledge of his opponents. Abd’Allah, however, says the “little” he has seen of Pillars in the Super Six so far, will help him come up with the necessary to help his side get “a positive result”.
“We are expecting a very good fight from Pillars that is why we are not going to leave no stone unturned. We are coming out with a positive mind to grab the three points. I think also this second match against Pillars will be a determining factor in this race for us we have to come out with a very good result if we are gunning for the title.
“Unfortunately we were not in the same group with them so we didn’t have enough time to study the team very well but with the little we’ve seen yesterday, we will work with it and we’ll sit down with the players and figure out the tactics that will come against them that will give us a positive result.”
The Kano State born tactician also downplayed the notion that his team would need to significantly improve their goals count in order to stand a chance of winning the league title after failing to score more than one goal in five of their last six matches stretching back to the regular season.
Abd’Allah, however, pointed to his side’s defensive record which was the joint best across both groups and the fact that only Lobi Stars lost fewer games as proof of his side’s ability to shut out teams which he believes gives them the foundation to push for wins.
“When you look at it, I think this season we are the team that conceded less goals and I think we lost less matches except for Lobi who have been drawing most of their matches. But I think it’s all about tactics, football is all about scoring so we have to make sure that we don’t concede, that is the only way we can lose the game but at the same time we have to figure out how we can score and get the three points.”