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Osho rules out relegation for struggling Remo Stars

By Damiete Sanipe

After a rather disappointing first round of 19 matches in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) this season, Remo Stars manager, Fatai Osho is expressing confidence that the team would not be relegated in this their first season in the top league.

Osho came in as replacement for former international Under-17 team coach, Nduka Ugbade who left his role due to contract talks falling through after six matches, but the managerial change seems to have done little to lift the club as they finished the first round at the bottom of the log with just five wins from 19 games.

The manager spoke to npfl.ng and expressed personal disappointment with the outcome of some of their matches in the first stanza.

"For the fact that we are bottom of the table, we can never be happy whether we played well or took the game to our opponents. We need to be winning games regardless where we play and that's the bottom line," reasoned the coach considered among the youngest in the league.

Very often, the team have been criticized for not playing to win but to entertain the stands even at away grounds but Osho disagreed and said, "People's impressions on how we play is their view but we love to
build from the back and try to penetrate but most defences are always resolute against my side.

"You count the number of blocks against us and you can see my team is actually making attempts. When blocks are made it shows my side is creating chances and something positive is happening going forward,” he further argued.

In most games we take tactical decisions to play the first and second halves differently," he continued, citing the match in Enugu against champions, Rangers International to drive his point that Remo Stars play progressive football.

"You can't say our pattern is not yielding result if we could travel to Ibadan and Enugu to pick draws. The only thing we've not been able to achieve is a victory on the road. The truth about life is that once you
are afraid to die, you're the first to die.

"If you are afraid to attack and play defensively your players will not be playing to their full potentials and you might end up losing. So why don't you attack to win?" he quizzed.

In an ironical twist, Osho, whose side plays in one of the poorest pitches with undulating surface is also complaining about the state of pitches at some venues and argued that such pitches don’t help his side play possession football to dominate matches.

Speaking on their chances of retaining their place in the NPFL at the end of the season, Osho was quick of the line with a response, "definitely, we are not thinking of relegation. In fact right from match day 1, we had resolved to be among the best in the league. Relegation is something that is forbidden to mention in our team.

"Beyond the fact that I want to win, I also want those players to go places and right now I have the right materials. I believe in my players and I'm certain they will be able to do the job and certainly we will
scale through”, concluded Osho, who enjoyed a stint at lower league side, Crown FC.

Remo Stars sit at the bottom of the NPFL table with 19 points from as many games and resume the second stanza on Sunday as hosts to Enyimba FC. The visitors won the reverse fixture 1-0 in Calabar.

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