Even with six matches to end the 2016/2017 Nigerian Professional Football League, NPFL season, Akwa United’s technical Adviser, Abdu Maikaba has give his side a pass mark of a successful season just as he’s eyeing a more better ending.
Maikaba who joined Akwa United in the summer after guiding Wikki Tourists to third position last season has turned around the fortunes of the Promise Keepers with decent results and impressive performances.
It’s a complete contrast of status for Akwa who ended last season in 14th position and are now one of the top favorites for league title and continental tickets.
These achievements, according to the former Kano Pillars’ gaffer was achieved with the support of all relevant stakeholders attached with the club just as he called for sustained effort to achieve the final goals.
“It was an interesting season and we started not a good way, but later as we continue to work hard we are now in the third position, and with six matches to go if we can maintain the level of progression right from the first round there’s likelihood that we can improve in our position may be second or being first at the end of the season.
“The most important thing is for my players to remain focused and see what God will do for us at the end but for sure there are good signs that the way we are going, a very good thing will happen to our team and if we can achieve playing in the continental which is our minimal objective, we will be very happy because our last season’s position was 14th, so if we can achieve that it’s a great improvement and I believe nobody can take the responsibility of making sure that should happen I can see all the stakeholders have contributed their own quota which I believe it will be like this to the end,” he said.
The soft spoken coach, talked about Akwa United’s next game which is away to Sunshine Stars and he’s positive about getting a decent result to put them in good stead for continental position at the end of the season.
“Our next game is against Sunshine Stars, away from home, we will make sure that we get the three points at state, we know it’s difficult because our opponent are fighting relegation and at the same time we are fighting a course, we want to win a continental position, as they plan so we plan.
At this point, there’s no thinking that you are playing away from home, we will never think that way as we will go all out to play our football, may be it will be the moment of joy to us by getting the three maximum points at this important period. If we can get that we will be very happy and by that the continental ticket is almost sealed if we can an away result in Sunshine.
I believe the game will be more tactical because none of the teams will want to lose but I believe I will use all I have to make sure that we get the three points at stake we hope the boys will respond to instructions and we hope the chances we’ve been in our games of recent to continue to prevent themselves and we hope our players can be able to convert those chances because that’s the inky thing that can give us away win,” Maikaba said.
“All the same, we take it one match at a time. We will take the Sunshine match before thinking about the next games but our target is to get the three points (in Ijebu-Ode).
Asked about whether his decision to dumped Wikki for the Uyo based club after finishing third in the NPFL last was the right one, Maikaba quickly pointed to the club’s current position and performance as defense to prove it was the right call.
“No matter happens at the end of the season I believe I took the right decision, and staying with from the beginning of the season till now and getting such results with Akwa United I think it’s an achievement even if we cannot win the league, getting a continental ticket will be a very big thing because it will happen for the first time in the history of Akwa United (through the league),” he concluded.
By Wale Mustapha