By James Agberebi:
Former Enugu Rangers coach, Lawrence Akpokona, has stated that the Flying Antelopes deserve to be crowned champions of the 2015/2016 Nigeria Professional Football League.
Rangers are on the brink of winning their first league title since 1984.
The Enugu-based team need just a point against El-Kanemi at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in the final day of the season on Sunday to become champions for the seventh time.
In a chat with Completesportsnigeria.com, Akpokona who coached Rangers from 2004 to 2006, said he wasn't surprised by the team's performance this season.
"I saw Rangers when they did their pre-season in Benin City. I saw a bunch of very young and exciting young players and I remember telling somebody I was impressed with what I had seen. I said back then that if the coaching crew can handle the players well, they can get something this season," Akpokona told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"I have been following them throughout the season and they've been very consistent. They've come this far and the league title is within touching distance, it is theres to lose.
"It will be a great honour for them because they've worked hard. When I was there we could only finish second, we got to play in the 2004 CAF Confederation Cup.
"I rejoice with them, I'm very happy because they've been long overdue for the league title."
Akpokona urged up and coming coaches to emulate Imama Amakapabo.
"Imama has understudied a lot of experienced coaches. From his days in Port Harcourt, he went through coach Monday Sinclair and late Amodu Shuiabu in Sharks. Someone who is not level headed cannot work with such coaches," Akpokona added.
"Most of these young coaches are too much in a hurry. The way some of them talk, you will think they are even better than Sir Alex Ferguson. Imama is not arrogant, he is humble and has learnt from veteran coaches in Nigeria."