The excitement around the maiden NPFL double-header is hitting a thrilling climax and while the home teams are talking tough, the away teams have also stated their resolve for an upset.
As part of our build-up to Saturday’s night game, we caught up with the interim Akwa United Coach Ere Dokubo who emphatically stated their mission in Lagos. Dokubo was named the interim manager of the club following the suspension of the team’s Technical Adviser Maurice Cooreman. Enjoy excerpts of the interview here…
fcnaija.com: Can you introduce yourself sir?
ED: My name is coach Ere Dokubo, the chief coach for Akwa United.
fcnaija.com: How prepared is Akwa United for the MFM Clash
ED: By the grace of God we are very prepared for this match against MFM just like every other match though no two matches are the same.
fcnaija.com: MFM are known for not losing games at home, how do you fancy your chances against them .
ED: Everything starts from one day; there is always the beginning to something. Though they have not lost any game at home, they have dropped points at home and it started one day. Losing too will equally start from one day and that day will be tomorrow for MFM.
fcnaija.com: Do you see your team being affected playing on an Astro turf and a smaller pitch?
ED: The pitch is Astro Turf and most teams in the league now also use the same kind of pitch, so the Astro Turf is not strange to the boys. Thank God we will have the opportunity of feeling the turf today (Friday).
Size of the pitch will have no effect on our game. Like you know, no two teams are the same. Any team you are playing against, you play to beat their pattern and gain points against them. Also, when you play on any pitch it is better to look at the pitch as an advantage for you. All the pitches we have been playing on are not the same size; some are bigger, some are smaller. Since we know how to play on big pitches, we should equally know how to play on smaller pitches.
fcnaija.com: Are you under any Pressure?
ED: Generally pressure will come but me as a person, I am not under any kind of pressure. It is when you allow the pressure get to you, then it can have a negative impact in your life. Definitely, I know pressure will come but I am not giving in. Therefore, I will play the game the same we have played every other game this season despite the suspension of our boss.
fcnaija.com: What is your message to fans in Lagos
ED: They should look out for the best. It is not only the fans and supporter that will come and play the game. If you are used to this system, there are places that you will go, that you will play against everybody and still go home with a good result. Lagos is cosmopolitan, even though we know MFM has strong followership here. We have played against teams that have very fierce supporters and in front of those people we won.
If we Akwa United can lose in front of our home fans that supported; we had every support that you can think of; yet we lost. Therefore, we are coming here to win to make our supporters happy, to make our fans happy, to make our sponsors, the government of Akwa Ibom state to be proud of us. That is our target and mission.
fcnaija.com: Thank you for your time and all the best with the game
ED: Your are welcome