CLUB NEWS

Ilechukwu hopeful of MFM title push

By Tunde Oyedele

Fidelis Ilechukwu has revealed that he is aiming to consolidate the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title challenge of his side, MFM FC with a win this Sunday against visiting Wikki Tourists.

MFM FC scrapped through to retain their place in the NPFL last season but have so far mounted a challenge for the title with 46 points from 28 matches to stay in second place, five points adrift of leaders, Plateau United.

 

But Ilechukwu believes they are now familiar with the NPFL set-up and still have a decent chance to wrest the title off Plateau United at the end of the season.

He is not unaware of the difficulty of upstaging Plateau United that have stayed top of the log for the most part of the season, but also recognizes threats from others such as former champions, Enyimba International with 44 points, Akwa United (43 points) with a match in hand and El-Kanemi Warriors (43 points).

The young coach is counting on the depth in his squad and the fact that they have gained the required experience to put up a more spirited fight this time round.

“Our first season was really tough but here we are today with renewed vigour to excel. The players and I have challenged ourselves to win the league title this season and we are getting close to our dream with every match,” the tactician told npfl.ng in an interview.

With goals from Ogunye Austin and Olatunbosun Sikiru, Ilechukwu perfectly guided the MFM side to lay claims to the their second position on the log following a superb 2-1 home victory on Matchday 27 against Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) FC at Agege Stadium in Lagos on Sunday, 1 July.

MFM however lost 1-0 on Matchday 28 against Rivers United FC in a rescheduled midweek fixture.

And, with just 10 matches to go, Ilechukwu said MFM’s plan is to go on a run of unbeaten matches till the last game, starting with this Sunday’s game against Wikki Tourists at Agege Stadium.

“I have started psyching up the players towards the next game.

“Our players have been fantastic this season and deserve to be rewarded. Their dedication and team play has got us this far and they have promised to deliver again,” he told npfl.ng.

Luckily for the dark-skinned manager, his playing staff is intact and would be ready to fire from all cylinders when they do battle with the Tourists.

Leading goal scorer Odey Stephen, with 16 goals, has failed to score in their last two matches against ABS and Rivers United but the striker has promised to return to his scoring form soon.

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