Enyimba’s Coach Abdul Mekaba feels sad that Enyimba’s quest for another Championship glory could end the way it did on their home soil. Abdul reveals that apart from other combined forces possible in football, his team lost mostly due to fatigue.
In an interview with CAFONLINE.COM, the sweat merchant refused to accept that the goallles draw against Wydad of Morocco in the second leg semi – final match played in Aba is further proof that Enyimba has lost the shine it was noted for.
We are in a very pensive mood. We lost a match after giving it all our best. It could be a result of combined factors. What I could easily pinpoint was I noticed the players were tired. It was tough playing two league games in four days ahead a crucial match like this. We had to also beg the Federation to put off a match we would have played on Wednesday. In any case, that is what football means. Uncertainty!
Was it fatigue too responsible for a poor showing in the first half and struggling to take over the second half
The players obviously analyzed situations using the first half. That does not mean we were sitting for the first forty – five minutes. The pressure you saw in the second half was a bold attempt to salvage what was almost becoming a very bad case on our hands. You would have noticed that we opened opportunity for scoring chances but failed to convert them. At that point, you would not say it was anybody’s fault. Just that our best was not good enough.
The general consensus is that the Technical Crew failed to make appropriate changes to turn the game around. Do you agre
That is also football. When you lose, people come with all sorts of opinions. While I respect their opinions, I refuse to hinge our loss on any one factor. The changes we made and when we made them were in our estimation the best we could do in that material time. When you fail, you are made the scapegoat. We did our best. It is unfair to blame the bench.
Would you be surprised if this result, which means you may end the season without silverware bring prompting changes to the technical dpeartment?
I will not speak for owners of the team but I think we should be looking at it from a holistic perspective. Yes, I will be surprised if the crew is sacrificed. Do not forget, we had done well to end as Africa’s best four. For a team that is amongst the first four, we have not done badly and deserve understanding.
For the first time in as many years, you had a capacity crowd. Don’t you think you squandered their goodwill?
I understand their plight. I want to use this medium to appeal to them to be steadfast in their support. What happened is very unfortunate. We are facing a phase now. This phase as in other times would also pass. We will not remain in this state for too long. I plead for their understanding.
Even at this period when Nigeria will not play in the African Cup of Nations and Sunshine lost at home in the Confederation Cup?
All these phases are related. Again, they could be attributed to combined factors. This is why I said no one person should be singled out as a scapegoat. We only need to look inwards to solve the problem. In Enyimba, we must get back to the board to regain our slot in league of champions