.As Glo NPL Actions Resume –
Akwa United started out this season as front-runners but dropped off midway into the half season and has since struggled to stay in the top ten. As the season resumes again midweek after the almost three weeks interruption, Coach Patrick Udoh is promising to grind out a final push to the top starting with the Match Day 26 fixture at the Uyo Township Stadium against former champions and arch rivals, Enyimba International of Aba.
Udoh assessed his lads and declared them to be physically and mentally prepared to take on their bitter rivals. He views the encounter as one his Uyo-based side will go the extra mile within the rules to achieve victory.
Speaking with www.lmc-ng-org, the Banker turned football Manager acknowledged that beating Enyimba will not come easy but would require loads of hard work and proper execution of match plans.
“It is going to be tough, there is no team that will play Enyimba and consider it a stroll in the park. We know this but they will certainly fall. We will not negotiate anything less than three points on Wednesday”, Udoh declared on a boastful note.
But sounding rather not too confident, Udoh confessed that the lull in League action may have also blunted the edge of his players. In his words, “We may have been disadvantaged considering the fact that we also stepped down training routine due to the strike action by the players to protest welfare conditions and this may have caused a disconnect”.
“But it is my responsibility as a coach to build confidence in team collectively and in each of the players. That is what gives you the in-depth knowledge of who and who are fit to play a match. But we will put all of this behind us ahead of the visit of Enyimba”, Udoh added.
Akwa United players returned to training on Friday after a weeklong strike following non-payment of salaries. The team is placed 9th on the log, four places behind Enyimba.
Striker Mfon Udoh will return to the club where he first made his mark before joining the two time African Champions. Akwa United’s duo of Aniefiok Godspower and Ezekiel Bassey are expected to be fit for the crunch encounter.
The rivalry between the sides reached boiling point following violent clashes In 2008/09 that led to loss of properties and humiliation of supporters at respective home venues.