Eguma identifies poor goals return as hindrance to title ambition
By Fred Edoreh
Standing third on the log with 32 points, three points away from table-topping Lobi Stars as the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) embarks on the business end of the campaign, Rivers United will have to do something about goalscoring to shore up their chances in the title chase.
They have a good defence line, making them the third least conceding side, so far. Nine wins, five draws and five losses don’t look too bad too, but coach Stanley Eguma knows that 19 goals in 19 games is not the stuff of an aspiring champion. It is more so seeing that Lobi and Plateau United are at 22 and 27 goals with 11 and 15 goal differences, respectively, against their seven.
Sunshine Stars and Dakkada FC tail Rivers United at 4th and 5th positions respectively but they also have slightly better numbers at 24 and 20 goals for, making Rivers United the least scoring of the top 5.
It is a matter of concern, high on the technical plans of the Port Harcourt side as they project for the second half of the season.
“We know that goalscoring is a problem in the team because if you don’t score goals you can’t win games,” Eguma admitted after they scraped a one-nil win, howbeit via Konan N’Gouan’s penalty, over visiting Kwara United to go into the season break.
“I thank God that, so far, our position is not bad but we need to improve on our goalscoring. That, we are going to do as we go in for the second half. We are going to perfect our strategy on how to score more goals and win games.”
The Matchday 19 encounter with Kwara United could have gone either way especially as, notwithstanding their victory, Rivers United did not show much element, and Eguma knows.
“It was a difficult match for us and I expected a difficult game too but at the end of the day we muscled our way and got the three points . That is the most important thing. The players tried their best too because Kwara United also had their game plan to win here,” Eguma said.
Reflecting on the job done and the challenges ahead Eguma says more effort is needed for Rivers United to end on a high.
“This is a league. It is like a race and at the end you amass what you have achieved. The first half is over and so far I think we have not done badly but there is room for improvement. Our position on the log is not so bad but with more effort, more hard work in the second half we are going to do better. That is what we are planning for.”