Nasarawa United in tricky tango with Abia Warriors

Nasarawa United in tricky tango with Abia Warriors

For a third successive season, Nasarawa United have faced the humiliation of struggling at the start of the race. But they have also been attuned to working out their revival midway and this seems to be on the cards again as they look to seize the opportunity of hosting Abia Warriors to claw their way out of the danger zone.

Sitting in 16th place with just 19 points from 17 games, the Lafia-based team have seen their fortunes go from being promising, two seasons ago, to a desperate scramble to avoid the drop last season and at present.

Nasarawa United have lost 10 times this season, throwing away a massive 30 points. Of these defeats, one was at home to Plateau United on the first game-day of the season, while the other nine were on the road (underlining a poor away record).

The club have won just six times from a total of 17 games and drawn just one, conceding 20 goals and scoring two less.

But according to coach Kabiru Dogo, who has drawn the ire of fans for his side’s under-strength season, it is not over, until the 38th game of the season is played.

“Our pre-season preparation was a huge factor for us two seasons ago and we came out blazing. We did not do so good prior to the beginning of this season and though I would not want to blame it all on that, everything that has happened before now is gone. We need to sweep everything away, go into the season break with our heads high and resume the season with the sole aim of moving off the base of the table.

“This is football and it is dynamic. That we are in 16th place does not mean that we will end the season there.”

Dogo rates their next opponents high but knows that his team have work to do to wrest the full points off Abia Warriors.

“Abia Warriors are a very great side and they have all it takes to win games, but we are poised to do our fans well and calm frayed nerves. There is not much points’ difference between us and the sides at the top of the table and I have told my lads to bank on team-work and smart-play if we want to catch up as early as we should. We cannot afford to fail if we get these things right,” he told npfl.ng.

Abia Warriors, on the other hand, have not pulled much weight since arriving the NPFL but they still are no push-overs. They have an away record that has seen them pick points off Akwa United, Heartland and FC Ifeanyiubah.

Emmanuel Deutsch’s charges, who drew the ire of their fans after dropping points from a draw against Katsina United last weekend, would want points-share to consolidate their position on the ever-dynamic log.

But should the points be shared, it could point towards the exit door for Dogo who has endured fans’ wrath a number of times this season.

Nasarawa United defender, Seun Sogbeso pointed out that his side is “condemned to win” this.