Shorunmu warns NPFL teams against complacency
CAF Champions League Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs Rivers United and Plateau United face the toughest tasks in the Africa Elite Club Championship this weekend.
The teams face battles against former champions in a competition Nigeria have only won twice thanks to Enyimba in more than 60 years of African club competition.
In the CAF Champions League, Rivers United will face Wydad AC of Morocco and Plateau United will face Esperance of Tunisia, while another Nigerian team, Kwara United, are tasked with defeating Moroccan Renaissance Sportive de (RSB) Berkane in the CAF. Confederation Cup, also this weekend.
But Super Eagles goalkeeping coach Ike Shorunmu believes the teams will survive if they do their homework properly.
He advised against clubs letting their opponents’ pasts intimidate them or put them under pressure, adding that the best-prepared team will always triumph in every game.
Nigerian teams play the first leg of their home ties and Shorunmu believes the number of goals they score without conceding will determine their progress in the competitions.
“CAF matches involving North African teams and clubs will be tough and I expect the Nigerians to focus on their strength and not let the past achievements of North African teams scare them away.
“Big names don’t win games. On the contrary, the current form of a team determines its progress in a competition. You can never tell if the current players of these North African teams are good enough to surpass the Nigerian teams.
“Football is not about past achievements; it is based on the current form of a team, the level of determination and commitment of the players. All Nigerian club teams must focus on being 100% mentally alert during matches, avoid complacency and not be intimidated by their opponents on match day.
“They should also take every opportunity to score goals to take the pressure off them in the second legs. Wide goal margins will also put their opponents under pressure going into the second leg,” he said.
Matches will take place today at Port Harcourt (Rivers United), Abuja (Plateau United) and Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos (Kwara United).
Looking forward to a glorious exit today, Rivers United management are optimistic that the Port Harcourt-based side will triumph over Wydad AC at Port Harcourt’s Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium.
According to team media officer Charles Mayuku, Rivers United, who received a $40,000 donation for each player from Governor Nyesom Wike, have vowed to die on the pitch rather than let their opponents leave the arena. with their ambitions totally undermined. .
Meanwhile, Plateau United’s opponents Esperance of Tunisia landed in Abuja ahead of their first leg.
They had their first training session at the match venue, MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja last night.