New Wikki Tourists coach Zubairu braced for enormous task

By Joshua Tekidek

Auwalu Zubairu has been unveiled as head coach at Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) outfit this week and the new helmsman knows that he is in for a demanding job.

The ‘Giant Elephant’ struggled in the top division last time out under Bala Nikyu whose contract has not been renewed by the Bauchi club ahead of the upcoming campaign.

Now Zubairu recognizes that he will have to up the ante in terms of getting results and banish the pain of last season’s struggle that witnessed Wikki ending in 14th position on the NPFL ranking before the campaign was called off owing to leadership crisis in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

“I am really moved with what I saw here. It is a big opportunity for me. I know it is an enormous task but with the support of everyone I believe we will take Wikki to the next level.

“By the time we get to work we will not compromise discipline of players because without it there is no way the team will go places.

“If you think Wikki is just going to make up the numbers, erase that thought from your minds. Wikki will make a strong presence both in the AITEO Cup and NPFL. I promise to do my best,” said Zubairu after he was officially announced as head coach of the club on Monday.

This will be the first time that Zubairu will take charge of a top-flight club as head coach after working as an assistant coach to Abdu Maikaba at Akwa United last season.

He has already mapped out his plans of restructuring the playing personnel despite the club hinting that 15 of their players including former U17 World Cup winner Mustapha Ibrahim now placed in the transfer market.

Zubairu informed that he will make his own assessment of the playing staff before reaching a conclusion who comes in and goes out.

“I will decide if new players will be brought in but the team I saw in Aba (during the AITEO Cup match versus Nasarawa United) are not a bad side. May be two or three players will be brought in but the team look okay. I promise to give indigenous players a chance,” he assured.

Zubairu will work at Wikki Tourists for a season.