Enyimba’s Usman Abdallah blames NPFL break for Williamsville loss

The People’s Elephant’s handler has attributed their defeat to Les Guepes in Abidjan to the break in the Nigerian top flight

Enyimba coach, Usman Abdallah has blamed their inactivity in the domestic league for their defeat to Williamsville AC in a Caf Confederation Cup tie played in Abidjan on Sunday.

Goals from Francis N’Da and Cedric Yameogo in the 32nd and 77th minutes respectively confined the People’s Elephant to their second loss in Group C and down to third in the log with six points.

Abdallah in his post-match reaction disclosed that the long break brought about by the Russia 2018 World Cup and the Nigeria Football Federation leadership tussle have made getting competitive fixtures difficult.

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He said his players lack adequate match fitness to do battle with the young and mobile Williamsville for the entire 90 minutes but promised that there would be changes in their next tie with Djoliba in Bamako on August 19.

“It was difficult for the players to maintain the same level of consistency throughout the game because of fitness issues,” Abdallah told the media.

“The long World Cup break is having its adverse effect on my players. We tried as must as possible to train and be ready for the game but we can’t compare that with having test games that will keep us ready and charged up.

“We started the game very well and had a few opportunities to score but we were unable to convert them. We couldn’t cope for a long period because of fitness issues.

“We have realized where we have erred and we are going back home to have a serious reassessment of what we must do to remain in the competition. We still have the firm belief that we are still very much in the race for a ticket to the next round. We will give the remaining two matches all that is required to excel .”

Enyimba must avoid defeat in Bamako in their next fixture with Djoliba in August and Abdallah hinted that he is aware of the huge task expected of them.

“We must go back home first and dissect what we must do against Djoliba,” he continued.

“We are determined to put ourselves back into reckoning and the game in Bamako will be key towards achieving that. We will be ready for it.”

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