Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma says playing three matches in a week in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and the Aiteo Cup is taking a toll on his team, following their 2-1 win against Warri Wolves in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
Winger Godwin Aguda scored a brace either side of halftime to render Emmanuel Ihezuo’s 4th-minute opener for Wolves a mere consolation, as Eguma’s men claimed all three points, and moved to 3rd spot on the NPFL standings, with 55 points from 32 matches.
The Pride of Rivers have played five matches in the last 14 days, including a 2-1 win against Sokoto United in Lafia in the Aiteo Cup Round of 32. They are also billed to face Heartland in an Aiteo Cup last 16 tie in Aba on Wednesday, before returning to Port Harcourt to face league leaders Akwa United on Sunday.
Speaking after his side’s hard-fought win against relegation-threatened Warri Wolves, the long-serving tactician said the fixture congestion affected his team’s performance in the encounter, but however, added that he would rotate the squad to adjust to the inevitable situation.
“You could see that our performance today (Sunday) was just average,” he said, after the win against Wolves. “I think that it was as a result of the journeys we made within this week. It was very difficult, and I believe that we played under fatigue today (Sunday).
“But you know the fixtures have put it that way. We’ll try and make adjustments in our selection and ensure that we work against fatigue. If not, it won’t be good for us, because the fixtures are very congested – the Aiteo Cup and the league.
“After every 48 hours, we are playing a game. And not only playing a game but making very long distant journeys. The wear and tear of those journeys affect the players and affect their performance. And it also affects the results.”
Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino last Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.
Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the MoshoodAbiola National Stadium.
The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.
He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.
“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.
“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (MoshoodAbiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.
“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.
“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.
Tidesports source reports that the FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.
Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses – Aikhomogbe
Former Nigerian goal keeper, Andrew Aikhomogbe has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to resolve every outstanding salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr before the next World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Aikhomogbe made this known on the backdrop of the football body’s recent deal with Baba Ijebu.
Although the financial details of the deal was not disclosed, Aikhomogbe in an interview with Newsmen from his base in Cairo, Egypt, stated that the NFF should use this platform to offset Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“It’s a big delight to know that the Nigeria Football Federation have signed a deal with Baba Ijebu and this will serve as an opportunity for them to use part of the money to pay Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“There is no better time to motivate him than now before Nigeria’s next 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic (CAR) on October,” he said.
Enyimba Players Vow To Support Finidi
Enyimba FC Goalkeeper, John Noble has stated that the players of the People’s Elephants will be key to the success of the newly appointed coach of the team, Finidi George.
Finidi, signed a two-year deal with Enyimba and oversaw his first full training session with the team on Thursday after a cameo appearance on Wednesday.
Speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, Noble gave his assessment of the coach in his first session under the manager and believes the former Super Eagles winger has what it takes to lead the team to the next level.
He added that the Enyimba players will be the ones to hand Finidi George his success at the club.
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