Enyimba are not “going to take any chances” against whipping boys FC Ifeanyiubah when both sides clash today in the 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Championship Playoffs, head coach Usman Abd’Allah has said.
Seven-time NPFL champions Enyimba take on the Anambra Warriors in the 7 pm kickoff at the playoffs and despite FC Ifeanyiubah having lost all three of their matches at the post-season title decider, Abd’Allah insists that it would be foolhardy for the Peoples Elephant who sit second on the log with six points, to make the “mistake” of assuming that the encounter at the Agege Stadium would be a stroll in the park.
“Playing teams like that, that have nothing to lose is the most difficult team to play so we are not going to take any chances against them because that might be the determining point for us to move forward,” the Kano-born tactician told busybuddiesng.com.
“[FC] Ifeanyiubah will be the second to the last game we are playing so it will be more important than even the other games that we have won. We are not going to make that mistake [of complacency] with FC Ifeanyiubah, so, we have to look as if we are going for our final because this is the match that will determine what will happen at the end of the tournament.”
Enyimba parade within their ranks midfield maestro Chukwuka Onuwa, a fan favourite with the locals at the Agege Stadium where he used to turn out for local side MFM FC before making the switch to Aba. Onuwa, who built up a massive cult following in Lagos during his time with MFM has found playing time hard to come by since his switch to the Peoples Elephant featuring just ten times in the league and is yet to make a single appearance at the playoffs.
Despite the vocal demands of local fans desperate to catch a glimpse of their hero in action, Abd’Allah says he isn’t swayed by fan sentiment for a particular player but about what is best for the team although he did say the fans will definitely get their wish before the end of the playoffs.
“[My selection decisions are] for the fans but about the team. I have to look at the situation of the team so it’s not all about the player. He has a certain particular role that he plays for us so we are looking for a possible time to fit him in that particular role so I think they are going to see him. They will see him and by the time they see him they will be very happy.”