Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wolves Ready For Fixture Congestion

After guiding his side to a 1 – 1 draw in the CAF Confederation Cup first leg, first round against Burundi’s Atletico Olympic in Bujumbura on Sunday, Warri Wolves’ head coach, Lawrence Akpokona, believes his side can cope with the mounting fixture congestion awaiting his side in all competitions this season.
After returning to the shores of Nigeria this week, the former Enugu Rangers’ coach said he has the side that can compete in the Premier League, the FA Cup (now Federation Cup) and the CAF Confederation Cup.
But Akpokona acknowledged that playing in three fronts would definitely have its toll on the team.
“Before the start of the season this is what we envisaged and we are up to the task of playing in three competitions this season. It will not be easy as such but we are prepared for it and we have the players that have played at the highest level in the game and they know how to withstand such pressure that come with so many games at intervals of three or four days,” said Akpokona in an interview with Naijaligue.blogspot.com.
After playing on Sunday in Bujumbura, Warri Wolves would be heading to Ilorin to face Kwara United in a rescheduled Premier League match on Thursday earlier scheduled to hold last week but for Wolves’ continental game to Atletico Olympic of Burundi.
Three days later, Akpokona’s men would return to the Oleh Township Stadium to play host to Kwara United in the Week 20 fixtures.
This means that Warri Wolves would play three games within eight days and Akpokona believes that the congestion would only test the title credentials of his side.
He added that his players are physically and mentally fit to withstand the clogging of fixtures.
“Our team is big enough to play in three competitions and we will be resting some players and giving some others the chance to feature. We have a quality side in which any player can replace another without too much problem. So playing three games in eight days shouldn’t affect us that much because that will be the trend till may be the end of the season because we intend to remain in title contention for every competition,” Akpokona said.

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