- Published on Friday, 12 May 2017 13:37
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By Blessing Fowowe
Fatai Amoo is upbeat that a reinforced Shooting Stars squad will post better runs when the second round of games in the 2016/17 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) commences from Sunday, May 21.
His optimism has been fueled by the presence of his returning stars and other additions to his team which he believes are sufficient to keep the Ibadan side out of relegation at the end of the season.
The Oluyole Warriors have endured a troubled start to the season leading into the break as they struggled to win matches at home despite playing quite well to the bewilderment of home fans.
Some of the returnee players are Wasiu Jimoh from FC Ifeanyiubah, Ajani Ibrahim from Jordan and Tayo Adebogun from Enyimba.
"If these guys and the other players in the squad can prove their mettle by picking as many points as possible, then I am convinced that we can indeed withstand the pressure and beat the drop,” declared Amoo who brimmed with optimism.
The former Sunshine Stars coach who made a return for his second stint at Shooting Stars admitted to npfl.ng that he had it rough at the beginning, but said it was something he envisaged.
“Till this moment, it still hasn’t been easy leading this team as we started off trying to build a new team as a result of the number of experienced players who left before the start.
"We expected it to be rough at first, but looking back at our performance at the end of the first stanza, it wasn’t totally bad,” he said.
Amoo also disclosed that the mid-season break has afforded him the opportunity to work on the weakness of the team to get them prepared for the second round.
“So far, we have discovered our shortcomings which most especially was in the inability to convert our chances. So a large part of our training sessions has been directed towards perfecting our finishing. We are also very mindful of our defence, we are working on it too,” he disclosed.
The coach who was part of the Nigerian Olympic team to Brazil said he is not ignorant of the challenges posed by other clubs for his side's quest to maintain their NPFL status but insisted he would rather focus on his team.
“We know the higher we go, the tougher it gets. Other teams are strengthening their squad as well, but we are focused on ourselves by correcting our mistakes to convert our chances as well as trying to stay as compact as possible at the back. We have had plenty of friendly games to prepare and the goal scoring burden will be shared by the entire team,” he said.
The Oluyole Warriors are currently placed 18th on the NPFL log with 22 points from 19 games and will play FC Ifeanyiubah for their opening fixture of the second stanza.
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