Friday, August 11, 2017 9:56 am
The Head Coach of Akwa-United, Abdu Makaiba, on Friday said that the 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title chase won’t be over until they were “mathematically’’ out of contention.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that Akwa United which currently sits third on the NPFL log, is also nursing the ambition of winning the league title as an outsider.
Speaking to NAN of his team’s chances to snatch the cup from the table toppers Plateau United FC of Jos and Lagos-based MFM, Makaiba said the team was a work in progress.
“We can still win the league as an outsider because it is not over, it is work in progress and we will continue to fight till we are mathematically out of contention.
“Although the chances are slim, there are still chances; we want to see what will happen at the end of it. We cannot give up now when we can still fight for a place.
“The team has what it takes to win the league as other contenders, so we will not give up on our aspiration at a shot to win the league.
“We have everybody’s support toward this, the government of Akwa Ibom is behind us, the management of the team, the fans and the coaching crew,’’ he said.
Makaiba said that there would be an improvement in the Nigerian clubs’ campaign at the continental level next year, adding that his club would ensure a better outing.
“We are ready to face the challenges at the continental level; we are ready to improve on the previous records and the standards. The players are well experienced.
“Anybody following our progression in the league will definitely know where we are coming from and how we reached this level at which we are now.
“We started slowly, and at some point, we were last on the log, but now we are on the third with five games to spare.
“The way and manner at which we progress on the league table shows our quality and if we are not the best in the league now, we are one of the best teams,’’ he told NAN.
Makaiba said that his team would ensure adequate preparation in their quest to make a statement at the continental level next year, adding that the team had the support of the Akaw Ibom Government.
“I believe we will prepare well for the continental challenge next year after we might have qualified. There are lots of works to be done in this regard.
“We want to represent the country well at the continental level and also maintain our level on the league.
“We have the support of the government and all the fans towards achieving our targets, so it is left for us to prove our mettle,’’ he said.
NAN reports that Akwa United sits third on the NPFL table with 51 points from 33 matches, behind table toppers, Plateau United with 58 points and Lagos-based MFM with 55 points from the same number of matches. (NAN)