By James Agberebi:
Former Nigeria international Moses Kpakor has charged Nigerian clubs competing in CAF competitions to always work hand-in-hand to achieve success.
Nigeria Premier League champions Enyimba, Federation Cup winners Akwa United, Nassarawa United and Warri Wolves are the teams flying the flag of the country in continental competitions this season.
In a chat with Completesportsnigeria.com, Kpakor, who won the 1990 Africa Cup Winners Cup with BCC Lions, stressed that there should be information and ideas sharing among them.
“I think the Nigeria Football Federation have tried, especially for the teams playing on the continent,” Kpakor said. “They organized the Super Four which at least may have prepared them to an extent. But I think the clubs need to work hand-in-hand,” the former midfielder told Completesportsnigeria.com in the wake of the Nigerian clubs’ unimpressive performances over the weekend.
“I remember when we were playing, we had a network. All the teams representing Nigeria on the continent, we were always in touch with each other. For example, if Julius Berger played in Congo Democratic Republic, we asked them what they faced there. The weather, the crowd, the officiating. We share information amongst ourselves. We don’t need to go there first to know what is on the ground.
“Also, we work with our journalists by sending them like two days before the game. Once they are there, you will think they are there for visiting, but when they come back, they give a lot of information.
“But the same cannot be said about the teams of these days and I am sure they’ve not been getting information about their opponents. These are the things they need to do, not just sit at home and hope to do well on the continent. And this was one of the reasons you see Nigerian teams getting as far as the quarter-finals, semi-finals and even the finals back then. We need to share information and ideas.”
The only result I am not comfortable with from experience his Nassarawa United result. Because their opponents just need one goal in the return leg. Their one goal here was a massive away goal, which means Nassarawa need to work harder. They have to score first if they hope to qualify for the next round because if they should concede first, it will be bad for them, it will invite pressure.
The 1990 Africa Cup of Nations silver medal winner
gave an assessment of the performance in the first round of matches played last weekend by the country’s representatives.
“For Enyimba, they only have one goal to cancel which is possible even under 45 minutes. And again, they will be playing the return leg at home and will have the backing of the fans.
“Akwa 1-0 away win is one that should give them more confidence to play the home game in a relax mood.
“Warri Wolves are lucky because financially it would have cost them a lot. So financially, it is a blessing for them. And secondly, they have qualified for the next round without kicking a ball and they will now have enough time to prepare for the next game. Also, I don’t think Warri Wolves would have learnt anything from a team from Sao Tome.”