Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pressure Mounts On 10 Premier League Coaches

No fewer than 11 Premier League coaches are under pressure to perform with their teams in this season’s campaign of the top-flight, understands.
Head coaches of Enugu Rangers, Kwara United, Niger Tornadoes, Heartland Football Club, Dolphin Football Club, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), Gombe United, Kaduna United, Gateway Football Club and Bayelsa United are those facing intense pressure from their employers and supporters.
Alphonsus Dike of Rangers is still facing the pressure of a two-match ultimatum though his side has cut him the slack by winning the first of the two-game challenge handed him by his employer.
Rangers defeated visiting Gombe United by 2 – 0 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu and Dike’s men would have to ensure that they completely ease the pressure on their manager by winning when Sunshine Stars visits on February 28.
“I’m not under pressure at all because I feel what they (the management) did was to keep the team on their toes,” Dike said before the game against Gombe United last Sunday.
At Kwara United, Justin Tenger has been told in clear terms that the Ilorin-based club must pick one of the tickets for any of the CAF-organised club competitions in 2011.
Earlier this year, the management had piled the pressure on Tenger to justify the huge wage bill he commands by handing him a four-match demand, which he scaled but the push on the former Niger Tornadoes’ man is still on.
Ladan Bosso is already in the dock at Niger Tornadoes, as his side is two points off the pace for a continental club competition place.
The management of the club brought in Bosso to help the side to the continent since it (the management led by David Suleiman) had assured the Niger State government that it would qualify for one of CAF club competitions by the end of the season.
At Heartland and Dolphin, the stories are the same for the duo of Kelechi Emeteole and Stanley Eguma respectively. The two coaches are expected by their supporters to get continental tickets.
For Emeteole, the huge debt of the club coupled with the exodus of some players have meant that his team’s strength is reduced while Eguma’s men are still struggling to get to grips with competing in the top-flight after three seasons in the lower.
But the fans at both clubs are unconcerned about these facts and are looking forward to seeing their clubs compete in the 2011 editions of either the CAF Champions League or the Confederation Cup.
However, five coaches at Shooting Stars, Gombe United, Kaduna United, Gateway FC and Bayelsa United are in for a dogfight.
Mutiu Adepoju, Ben Duamlong, Maurice Cooreman, Loveday Omoruyi and David Ngodigha are facing difficult times in their careers as managers.
Shooting Stars’ interim coach, Adepoju’s stocks rose at the weekend when his side defeated Gateway FC by 2 – 1 in Ilaro to complete the double, his opposing number, Omoruyi, could be shown the exit door in a matter of days if he fails to lift the team out of the drop zone.
But Adepoju is still not out of the woods yet, as his side plays host to in-form Kano Pillars in Ibadan this Saturday.
Duamlong of Gombe United before the start of the season had hoped that barring any hitch in disbursement of funds to offset arrears of contract fees and other allowances, he can lead the side to the continent.
But that dream is looking remote though there are still 18 matchdays to go this season.
At Kaduna United, it is the same tale for Belgian coach, Cooreman, as he is to guide the side out of relegation and he has started on a good note by taking four points off Enyimba in his side’s last two games.
In Yenagoa, home of the current Premier League champion, Bayelsa United, everything does not seem right and Ngodigha still acting as head coach is facing pressure off the pitch.
He is finding it difficult to motivate the players at the club to give their best performance considering the financial circumstance facing the players in which they are still owed arrears of last season’s contract fees and a number of match bonuses this season.
It is worse that the side that won the league in grand style last season is now the basement boys of the top-flight and Ngodigha has been told that Bayelsa United must not be relegated by its supporters.

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