After the unfortunate 1-2 loss to Akwa United in their last outing, the technical adviser of Enugu Rangers, Salisu Yusuf, has given assurances his team will gun for maximum points as they take on Kano Pillars in a rescheduled matchday 11 encounter on Wednesday.
The anticipated crunch clash is slated for the main bowl of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, popularly referred to as ‘The Cathedral’.
Salisu, who handled the ‘Sai Masu Gida’ side to a league trophy in the past, is optimistic of earning a win to keep hope alive of finishing on a high in the 2019/2020 NPFL season.
After leading his wards to a win over Jigawa Golden Stars, a few days back, he said, “I expect a tough match from Kano Pillars but I am very optimistic of coming out with a victory. Both sides have history and followership but with the form we are now, I don’t think they can withstand us. We need the three points and by God’ grace we shall get it.”
Encounters between the two most followed clubs in the country and champions of the last two editions of the Aiteo Cup in 2018 in Asaba and 2019 in Kaduna have never ceased to produce all the trappings of an ‘El-Classico’ even when they did not start the ongoing season on a very good note that has seen them playing catch-up to current pacesetters.
Occupying the 8th position on the 20-team log with 27 points from 18 matches played, Pillars would be aiming to continue another round of unbeaten runs. They were recently stopped by MFM in Lagos after going over eight games with no defeat.
Rangers, who are on the 17th position with 20 points from 16 matches, want to get back to winning ways after the shock home loss to Akwa United at the weekend.
A former Pillars’ defender now playing for Rangers, Ifeanyi Nweke, sees nothing but victory for his new club on Wednesday.
Nweke said, “I played in Kano for a very long period and I know they are coming with everything for the match but we hold the ace to achieve victory. It will be tough but we are strong and determined to get the win and move us closer to the top bracket of the league. Our fans should come out in their number to cheer us to victory.”
Also speaking to the media ahead of Wednesday’s tie, Rangers’ mercurial midfielder, Ibrahim Olawoyin said, “Our collective target is all three points and the players appreciate the fact that our position on the league is not too good. We are motivated and determined to ensure we get the maximum points at stake and reassure our supporters that we can end the season on a high.”
Rangers may likely miss the services of Chiamaka Madu, Godspower Aniefiok, Issif Traore, Semiu Liadi and Ugwu Uwadiegwu, who are just coming back from injuries. Coach Salisu Yusuf will be relying on the likes of Tony Shimaga, Ikechukwu Ibenegbu, Kenechukwu Agu and Chinonso Eziekwe to grab the maximum points at stake.