Good morning Everyone, The cancelation of the midweek games mean we have a little longer recovery time between Sunday’s win, a gruesome trip to Ibrahim Mustapha’s village in Maiduguri and recovery time for that too. It’s a blessing yes but that doesn’t eliminate the challenge facing us the next four match days. Some more light on that.
First and foremost, I do like the look of our squad. We have top quality strikers- Mustapha, Gata, Leonard, Obiozor, Chukwude- that’s the six I’m aware of. You have the likes of Ohanachom, Mfon, Dimgba, Bassey, Osadiaye, Abalogu, Adebogun and Frimpong coming in from the flanks. That should be an abundance of firepower. One that even Rivers United who signed every thing out there would be envious of.
That said, it’s expedient that with these guys all capable of putting in a good day’s shift, we must manage them for what I think is a monstrous fixtures pileup. First we travel to Borno to play Ladan Bosso’s El-Kanemi Warriors at the weekend. It’s probably one of the fartherest distances in the League. I know last season, teams would get to Abuja and there’s a chattered flight to take them to Maiduguri. That eases the effect of endless hours on the road to Borno State.
Perhaps it’s same this year but haven not made my inquiry, I’ll assume it’s same. Eliminate that but there’s still the 13 hour journey to Abuja from Calabar. After that fixture, we would return to Calabar to face, guess who? Akwa United. A resurgent Akwa United just an hour from Calabar would fancy their chances in a game they believe can help get their season back on track.
Enyimba on the other hand would be hurrying back to Calabar in a fixture we would look to me like the away team. Akwa Ibom and Cross River being the proverbial eye and nose means we would be battling not just the fatigue but the external factors as well. Reason why we cannot be anything but on our best for those fixtures. Ogunbote’s squad management thus comes under scrutiny. Managers can sacrifice some games for others. Perhaps don’t travel with all your best legs. Have some of them at home ready for Akwa.
After the Akwa game our next away game is to Lokoja. It’s a long trip as well and following shortly after it would be FC IfeanyiUbah who like Akwa United have a shorter distance to cover, coming to Calabar than we do returning from Lokoja. I don’t know if you’re seeing what I am but we have to manage our squad a lot better as we aim to not only get results away but to preserve our winning run at home.
Perhaps the management can make provision for air travel at least, if not for the away game, for the home game that follows. You can lose an away game but don’t lose at home – that’s the unspoken principle here in the League. It doesn’t even get better afterwards because we head off to Makurdi to face Lobi before returning to welcome Shooting Stars. After which we head to Kano to see Mr Ikhana.
Maybe I’m just being paranoid. Maybe I’m just a little too eager for this team to stay in touch with the top of the log but if I get 9 points from our next 5 games, I won’t complain. Elkanemi away, Akwa home, Tornadoes away, FC Ifeanyiubah home, Lobi away. 9 points and I have no complaints. If you guys however think we can do better than that- shock me and I’ll have my humble pie to eat here.
Done and dusted for today. Have a great Tuesday.