Monday, January 04, 2010

Title Race Will Stretch To Last Day – Akpokona

Warri Wolves’ head coach, Lawrence Akpokona, has predicted that the battle for this season’s title in the Premier League could stretch to the wire.
In an interview with, the former Enugu Rangers’ handler explained that the 11-week old Premier League has witnessed different leaders at some point in the season and believes that the title race is still wide open.
“At this point in the season, it is difficult to say that any club or team would win the league because it is still too early. The teams have played just 11 games and you can see how close every club is to the top. Between the first team (on the table of the table, which is Enyimba) and the rest, it is just two points difference and in others about three or more. So that does not guarantee that any club would remain on top of the league table for the rest of the season.
“But I am expecting that it would be a difficult season for all the clubs because all of the 20 clubs want to win the league and at Warri Wolves that is our target as well. No one goes into a battle saying that he wants to be defeated and that is why we are expecting that the winner of this season may be decided on the very last day,” Akpokona told
Warri Wolves, Lobi Stars, Kwara United and Enyimba are the sides that have been on top of the Premier League log since the start of this season with the latter now setting the pace with two points ahead of the chasing pack.
But the ex-Ocean Boys’ gaffer does not want to hand his rivals a boost by naming them as potential title contenders and instead backed his side to battle for the title till the end of the season.
In spite of his side’s 0 – 1 capitulation in front of its home fans at the Oleh Township Stadium to Enyimba on December 20, Akpokona is still confident that the loss has not dented his side’s ambition of winning a first domestic title.
“Yes we lost to Enyimba. We didn’t plan it that way but in football these things can happen if you fail to take your own chances. But I will tell you that we have learnt lessons from that game and at the same time, we have put it behind us, as we are ready to continue to give our best in the league this season,” he said.

Asked if he is not worried that Warri Wolves’ title charge may suffer a setback when the CAF Confederation Cup gets underway next month, Akpokona responded that his side has the depth to compete in the two competitions.

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