Imama Amapakabo - Rangers champion coach yet to win in the new NPFL season
Saturday Jan 21, 2017. 10:36
Three of the NPFL top coaches Imama Amapakabo, Abdu Maikaba and Mohammed Babaganaru will hope to record their first win of the new season this weekend.
Champions Rangers under Imama lost their opening game at home against Abia Warriors, before they held hosts Nasarawa United to a 1-1 draw in Lafia.
The indifferent start to the season has already got the Enugu State House of Assembly to summon the team to find out what the problem could be.
Imama told AfricanFootball.com: "The away draw in Lafia has boosted the confidence of my boys, they showed character and kept possession which gave the team a priceless one point away from home.
"We are expecting nothing short of victory in our match against El Kanemi Warriors.
"We defeated the Maiduguri outfit 4-0 in the last league match of the season. In the eyes of the opponents we're thrilled to a podium dance.
"The match will be difficult knowing full well that the last league match defeat of last season is still fresh in their mind. But out our priority is to pick the three points.”
Maikaba, who led Wikki Tourists to finish third last season before he moved to Akwa United, is also yet to win with his new club.
Akwa United lost 3-1 at ABS FC in the first game of the campaign and were then held to a 1-1 draw at home by Rivers United.
“Against ABS, there was no movement in the team and it may have been caused by the long journey (we embarked on from Uyo to Ilorin),” reasoned former Enyimba and Kano Pillars coach Maikaba.
“I believe my boys gave their best but unfortunately, it was not good enough to see us beat Rivers United.
“I am happy with my boys played better in the second half; if they had played badly in the second half, I would have been disturbed as a coach.
“I believe we are getting better and the fans should expect a better performance in the next game.”
Maikaba’s successor at Wikki, Babaganaru, will equally be hard pressed for a result when the Bauchi club now clash with Akwa United at home.
Wikki were held at home by Nasarawa United in their first game, before they lost 2-1 at El Kanemi Warriors on Thursday.
By Kola Daniel