By James Agberebi (photo by Ganiyu Yusuf):
Akwa United coach Abdu Maikaba has expressed his happiness after guiding the Uyo-based team to win the 2017 Aiteo Cup trophy.
Akwa United defeated Niger Tornadoes 3-2 on penalties after 90 minutes ended 0-0.
The win means Akwa United have now won the Aiteo Cup for the second time after claiming their first trophy in 2015.
“I am so excited winning the second trophy in three years. This is my first trophy with Akwa Un8ted and I am very happy,” Maikaba told Completesportsnigeria.com.
“My first year, I finished fourth in the league and now I was able to win the Aiteo Cup. It is a good achievement for the team, and I hope we will continue from where we stopped next season.”
Maikaba said Akwa will do everything possible to make sure they have a successful CAF Confederation Cup campaign.
He said: “Going into the continent, we will make plans to make sure that our last campaign in the Confederation Cup doesn’t repeat itself. We understand the problems we had the last time we were on the continent and we will work on them.
“For now we will take a breather, rest a little and resume work as soon as possible so that we can prepare very well for the CAF Confederation Cup.”
He went on to give reasons why Nigerian clubs have been performing poorly in CAF competitions.
He added:”The mistake most Nigerian clubs make on the continent is after winning a trophy or qualifying to represent Nigeria on the continent, they tend to change about 80 per cent of the team that qualified them. The issue of continuity is not there. Football is all about team play. If you wish to continue playing as a team, you need to give players time.
“We will have some changes but not too much. We will fortify the team so that we will continue with our culture.”