Nasarawa United’s defeat to 10-man Rivers United was inevitable because the players were not fit enough to play their “lucky” host, according Coach Kabiru Dogo.
Dogo’s men could not break the resilience of the home side, although they had the numerical for 55 minutes after Rivers United captain Festus Austin was sent off following a second yellow; for handling the ball.
The Yakubu Gowon Stadium saw the first game of the second stanza of the NPFL and it was decided by a 38th minute strike from Ayo Saka.
In his post match presser, Dogo said the home side who were in “competition mode”, always looked the better team because they had the privilege of a busy schedule during the one-month league break.
“Unfortunately, you know when you’re starting afresh, the boys will pick gradually.
“Rivers United are lucky, they played well because they’ve been in competition mode; playing on the continent and it help them,” Dogo offered.
“My team have not been so fortunate, apart from the FA Cup and some friendly matches; which you can’t compare to a league game.
“Last season, in the first round we started slowly but picked up later.I believe with this we’ll pick up from the next game,” He said.