By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Photo by Ganiyu Yusuf (MFM vs Sunshine)
Sunshine Stars head coach Samson Unanuel has attributed the decision of some of the club's best players to leave for other clubs as chief reason why the Akure Gunners are struggling in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
The team have played three games without a win in the new Nigeria Professional Football League season and the bad start to the new season gives the coach cause for concern.
"Almost half of the players decided to leave on the day that the league started, you can imagine Nigerian players," Unanuel told Completesportsnigeria.com after Sunshine lost 2-1 to MFM in Lagos. "They didn't do that when others were going to rest at the end of last season.
"I thought I could build on what I met on the ground but that is not happening. My players that played against MFM did very well and I'm going to stand by them," Unanuel pledged.
Sunshine Stars have lost such quality players like Tunde Adeniji, Paul Onobi, Prince Aggreh, Anthony Omaka and Musa Newman.
MFM scored the first goal on Wednesday through former Sunshine Stars player Newman in the 35th minute of the first half but the Olukoya Boys were pegged back through a goal by Sunshine's Samad Kabiru just before the end of the first half.
MFM will take on fellow Lagos side Ikorodu United in a local derby on Saturday at the Onikan Stadium, Lagos.
Meanwhile Sunshine Stars of Akure midfielder Sunday Abe has charged his team to stay focused in second halves of their league matches and insists the team must start churning out the good results they desire.
Sunshine Stars were defeated 2-1 on Wednesday by Lagos side, Mountain of Fire FC (MFM), their second defeat in three games of the new season in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
The player who was red-carded in the game at the Agege Stadium, Lagos on Wednesday spoke with Completesportsnigeria.com on the bad start to the season by the Akure Gunners.
"The defeat to MFM could have been avoided if some of our players had been focused. We lose concentration a lot especially in the second half when it matters most and that's why we lost our last game before the one against MFM, against Lobi Stars. We need to improve on our second half performances and start winning.
"It was not just about the defenders. Generally we did not have a good game. Definitely my red card was a factor-playing with that numerical advantage handed MFM the advantage.
"But its too early for them to be carried away by their present form. The season just started. 'When the jungle matures' we shall know who-is-who," Abe further told Completesportsnigeria.com.