Niger Tornadoes coach Abubakar Bala is not fazed by the seeming daunting task of facing former champions, Enyimba International and has talked up his side’s chances of staging an upset when both sides clash in the Matchday 28 fixture of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) this Sunday in Calabar.
Following a narrow 1-0 win at home to struggling side, Remo Stars, Bala said the club are on course to achieving their season’s target of a top-10 finish on the log and believes they can grind out a decent result against the Peoples Elephant to consolidate their place in the top half of the log.
Bala, who had stints at lower league side, FC Lokoja believes that winning all three points against Remo Stars is a booster to the confidence of the squad going into the fixture against Enyimba.
That win with a 59th minute strike from Peter Momoh moved Tornadoes to eighth place from 10th on the log while Enyimba dropped from third to seventh after a 1-0 loss to Akwa United.
The Tornadoes trainer admitted that his side may be vulnerable to Enyimba’s newfound high-scoring form at their adopted home ground but insisted he is going into the fixture to prove a point.
“I know Enyimba play very well now at home, you could see from their last home match against El-Kanemi that they are a free-scoring side, but I have a point to prove in that match and in the next away game to Akwa United.
“Starting with Enyimba, we have studied them closely and have designed how to approach them.
“We will play to put pressure on them and try to score first. This will be very important for us,” Bala told npfl.ng.
The coach is also drawing some measure of confidence from a perception that Enyimba’s quest to return to the continent is a self-induced pressure that will work in his side’s favour.
“They want to get back to continental scene and that’s going to be a pressure on them. It is true they are not playing at their traditional home ground but we know their fans want to see the team win anywhere, so we will try to contain them and put a lot of pressure on them to get the kind of result we need,” Bala concluded in this exclusive match preview.
Enyimba currently play their home games at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar and hit El-Kanemi Warriors 4-0 in their last outing.
Bala still maintained that he is working to see Niger Tornadoes achieve a top-10 finish and called for the support of the fans.
“Like I’ve always said from the beginning of the season even when the pressure was too high on me, I said by the first 10 weeks I will stabilize Tornadoes.
“I also promised that Tornadoes will finish in the top-10 of the log at the end of the season.
“I’m happy we are achieving that target gradually, and I believe it is very achievable by God’s grace and encouragement from the fans, supporters and those who believe in us,” he said.