Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma expects his side to rebound from the “big blow” of Sunday’s loss at Rangers with victory in midweek when they host Warri Wolves at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt.
Eguma’s title-chasers fell to a Chinonso Eziekwe’s 39th-minute winner for the Flying Antelopes at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium on Matchday 24.
The defeat was a setback for 2nd-placed United’s title aspirations as leaders Plateau United increased their lead to four points with a 2-1 win over Nasarawa United in Jos.
Speaking after the game in Enugu, Eguma admitted Rangers’ superiority in the first half but blamed a failure to properly defend the situation which gave rise to Rangers’ winner for his side’s defeat.
“The two teams played good football, it’s just that Rangers put more pressure on us, and I think it paid off towards the dying minutes of the first half,” Eguma told the club’s media channel after the game.
“The players refused to clear that ball and after the goalkeeper had made effort. That was what cost us the goal, and outside that, it was an equal game. Both sides played well. We also lost our scoring chances which should have made the difference.”
Eguma, however, said he expects his players to get back their title challenge back on track with a win at home against 13th-placed Warri Wolves on Matchday 25.
“Every game is very important. We have lost today, I think it’s a big blow, but we are not losing hope,” the 2011 NPFL winning manager said.
“We’ll still go back and, put our hands together, we’re going to plan better for that game, it’s an important game, even though it’s a home game we have to work harder to win it, and we expect a victory in that match.”
Rivers United are second on the NPFL table with 42 points after 24 games.