Kano Pillars technical adviser Ibrahim Musa has laid the blame for his side’s 2-2 draw against Akwa United in their opening game of the 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Super Six playoffs on Tuesday at the feet of his players saying they failed to heed his instructions to defend better at set-pieces.
Pillars twice gave up leads to headers from Ndifreke Effiong and Aniefiok Godspower at the Agege Township Stadium, despite Musa saying he had warned his players beforehand about the need to properly shield their set-piece “weakness” especially after it had cost them in a 3-0 loss to the same opponents in the regular season.
Having fallen for the same errors once again, Musa said his side has “a lot to do” and must brace up if there are to mount a successful challenge for the league title in the playoffs.
“I told the players, when we played Akwa at home [at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo], we lost 3-0, all the goals were set-pieces, so we have to be careful that is where our weakness is so we have to be tactically disciplined so that is what will happen,” Musa told busybuddiesng.com after the match.
“We scored two goals [and] they equalized [each time from] set-pieces, which means we have a lot to do. When we are working from the midfield and attack when defenders and goalkeepers are relaxing, we can’t go anywhere, so, I told the players in the second half if you want to go far you must avoid that tactical indiscipline and common mistakes.
“But notwithstanding we thank God since we escaped with one point, so, we have to go to the drawing board, we have time tomorrow [today], we have to work on our errors and by the grace of God you’ll see the best of Kano Pillars.”
Musa was at the helm when Pillars imploded in spectacular fashion to lose the Aiteo Cup final to Rangers on penalties after having thrown away a three-goal lead in thirteen second-half minutes. It’s a loss Musa says he is still haunted by and one he hopes to banish by winning the league title for Nigeria’s “Real Madrid”.
“You know Kano Pillars is like Real Madrid in Nigeria, it’s a great team so, our aim is to win the league. As I am an indigene of Kano State, I have to win something for my state. Last year I lost the Aiteo Cup and I come third in the unconcluded Nigeria Premier League so by this year we hope to win something for my state.”