Enyimba targets away victory against Ivorian opponent
Despite standing no chance of progressing from the group stage, Enyimba head coach Fatai Osho believes CAF Confederation Cup opponents FC San Pedro still have much to play for at the Stade FHB in Abidjan tomorrow.
Osho’s Enyimba are up against FC San Pedro, who are occupying the bottom in Group D in their final match of the phase with sight firmly set on picking the group’s second quarter-final ticket.
While the Ivorian are already eliminated from the competition following an indifferent run that has seen them manage just three points from five matches, Enyimba need only a point to confirm progress to the last eight.
Speaking with the club’s media channel before his team’s departure to Abidjan, Osho squashed insinuations that the fixture against the already eliminated Ivorian side would be a mere stroll in the park.
“San Pedro as at now are out of the competition completely and they stand to lose absolutely nothing, and when you are playing with no pressure on you like that, some teams tend to play better in that situation and that is why we have to be a bit careful. We have to bring in our A-game to get the needed result.
“They should not be of an illusion that after all, the San Pedro team is out and they will be an easy picking. It’s not going to be that way. They have their honour to play for, and they want to do well in front of their supporters. They have not been doing too well at home and I see a situation where they actually want to turn the table.
“Anything short of at least a draw could be so costly for the team (Enyimba), and when you need a draw like that you have got to go for a win, but if you actually plan to get a draw you might end up losing it altogether. So the orientation is for the players to go all out for victory, which is the normal thing in football.
“We want our destiny to be in our own hand. We don’t want to start monitoring what is happening (in the group’s other game) in Agadir. If we can get our result in Abidjan, regardless of what happens in Agadir, we will be safe. We will be home and dry. And that is exactly what we need to do and that is what we are preaching to the players,” he stated.
Similarly, Enyimba forward Anayo Iwuala believes San Pedro would be playing for pride tomorrow.Anayo, who dazzled as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against Hassania US Agadir in Aba last Sunday, was however confident the People’s Elephant would do enough to secure qualification.
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