Rivers United Coach, Stanley Eguma, has warned Enyimba of Aba that his team is desperate to succeed this year, as the two teams are set clash in the CAF Confederation Cup on February 14 for a slot in the group stage of the competition.
The ‘Pride of Rivers’ secured qualification for the final round of the Confederation Cup thrashing South Africa’s Bloemfontein Celtic 5-0 on aggregate, while the ‘Peoples Elephant’ dropped out of the Champions League’s spot after losing 2-4 to Sudan’s Al Merriekh. The clash of the two neigbours based on current form is expected to be a titanic clash.
Speaking toThe Guardian during the week, Eguma believes that the exploit of Enyimba will give the two-time Champions League winners undue advantage over them, adding that his team is also in the tourney to make a name.
“Enyimba being at the continental championships almost on a yearly basis is a big plus for them. They have a lot going for them talking about their wealth of experience on the continent.
“Rivers United, on the other hand, cannot lay claims to anything yet. We, on our own part, are desperate to achieve success this year. And that is why we are working very hard to ensure that we also make a statement this season.
“Enyimba have won the Champions League back-to-back and you cannot remove that achievement from them. They have been playing on the continent year-in-year-out. And I think for now, they have a lot of experience and the edge over us.
“But we are committed and I believe that we have a lot to offer at this point in time. It was my wish that both of us qualified and play in the group stage of the competition. But now that the fixture has pitched us to together, we don’t have any alternative than to go all out there and do our best as we go into the group stage,” he said.
While commenting on the team’s secret following their good run of play both in the domestic league and on the continental, Eguma commended Governor Nyesom Wike, the state commissioner of sports and the management board of the club for their support, adding that everyone has been working assiduously to see that the club achieves its goals this year.
“Right from the onset, when it dawned on us team that we were going to play in the continent, we made our plans and we started our plan early enough towards that.
“The management also ensured that everything went well for the team. The first thing was getting good and disciplined players, who are good enough for our programme. They also took care of the players’ welfare, which is very important. All these have been the motivating factors.
“Also, in the technical department, we have a very sound crew marshaling the technical variation for the team. All these joined together have made up a very strong unit.
“And I believe if we continue with the way we are going, with good sponsorship, we should be able to achieve our collective aim. And also not forgetting to thank Governor Wike, who has been our backbone. Also the commissioner for sports for his wealth of experience and the club’s management board, who have done well for us to succeed,” he stated.