Everyone speaks of the Champions League game with Zamalek less than 10 days away but before then we have two crucial League games that we must show up in our true colours as a preparation to the Zamalek tie. Rivers United and Shooting Stars and possibly Sunshine Stars are the dress rehearsal.
Rivers United themselves have become one of the most consistent teams this season and full credits to them, they deserve their position on the log. Coach Stanley Eguma has reinvented himself, having fashioned out a team that whether at home or away, will give a stern test. They sit pretty close to the top and there has never been one match they were mauled or whitewashed anytime this season. Their defeats are rarely with more than a goal deficit.
They’ve been able to put together a decent, compact unit with Gabriel Olalekan and Festus Austine inarguably the best Centre back partnership in the Championship this season. Yusuf Jayeiola sitting in front of them rarely gets the credit he has so far earned over and over again but he snuffs out the slightest sign of danger before it becomes a problem. Sunday Rotimi has rolled back the years, who would believe this guy has played nearly 20 years in the League?
In attack, Bernard Ovoke and former Enyimba striker Chinonso Okonkwo have been their better performers up top. Ovoke scores free kicks for fun and his deliveries into the danger area is cause for concern for any defence. Perhaps they don’t score a lot of goals, but they don’t concede a lot either. You must have heard, they have not conceded a goal from an opponent at home this season. They do just what’s enough to get what they want from any game.
Invariably this should be our toughest test till date and we must be aware of what we are faced with today. Rivers United have also played at the Umuahia stadium this season, when they narrowly lost to Abia Warriors in the first stanza.
I once heard of a coach who at halftime, when his team was not playing well in what was supposed to be a must win match, decided he wasn’t going to say anything to them. All he did was to simply put up the league table on the tactics board and had them gather and look at the table throughout the duration of the interval.
They saw their position and what a defeat would mean to their title hopes and aspirations, and that was the adrenaline shot they needed. The second half was a different display when compared to the first and they scored three goals that won them the match.
This morning, just like that team, we can only look at our position on the log to see how important getting today’s three points is. We are at a point of the season where the true quality and credentials of our players must come to the fore.
It’s time to prove you deserve to wear the blue Jersey of Enyimba International. It’s not enough to share pictures and videos on Facebook and Instagram, it’s time to show you possess the quality to play for this club.
Where is your Enyimba spirit? We want to see it this evening. Those back to back defeats must be atoned for with three points this evening.
It’s over to you boys.