General appraisal of the game
I really thank God for the result, and I thank the players for the way we came out in the game. Also, I’m very very happy about myself, although toward the dying minutes of the game, I was so disappointed about the red card.
But if you watched the game, you’d know that, at a time, it became so frustrating to me because, [off] the ball, the (Rivers) defenders were kicking and hitting me. I know that was their game plan, but it was quite unfortunate that I got the (second yellow) card.
On playing as a lone striker
In the Nigerian league, you have an away plan and you have a home plan. So, for away games, we had that as a game-plan that I’ll be played alone (upfront), trying to keep the ball while the support comes from behind.
It isn’t that I really enjoy it, because it’s more stressful to hold the ball alone and it takes time for others to support you. But in a home game, we wouldn’t play like that.
I think that’s the plan of the Technical Director, so that’s the reason we played like that.
On missing the Abia derby and the team coping in his absence.
I’ll tell you the truth: it’s bad. As you can see, some of our players are not available – they went for CHAN – while some are injured. It’s not like I wanted to get the red card, it was just a part of the game. I feel bad. You know, in a local derby, you have to give all. Assuming I could be there, at least… What will be, will be; but I prefer being there to make something happen.
I think the team has what it takes to get all three points against Abia Warriors. The team has it all; without any particular player, the team will move. No body will say, “Without me, (Enyimba) can’t play”. Without the captain (Mfon Udoh), we have been playing—we’ve won, drawn and lost.
So without anybody, the team will play. I know they might feel the absence of that particular person for the moment, but if the team comes together and plays the way the Technical Director tells them to play, I believe they will win against Abia Warriors.