It has been four points from a possible six for Coach Abubakar Bala after taking over the manager’s job at Kwara United from John Obuh and the new helmsman believes he has found the key to lift the Ilorin side out of the present dangers of dropping off the big league.
In his first outing with the club on Match Day 14, the Afonja Warriors came from behind to edge former champions, Kano Pillars 2-1, a result Bala believes motivated the players on their assignment in Akure where they drew 2-2 with Sunshine Stars on Match Day 15 on Wednesday.
“The victory from our last match against Kano Pillars motivated us a lot. It would have been demoralising if we had lost that game. Four points from my first two games in charge will spur the boys on” he said in Akure after his side let off a 1-0 lead and returned towards the end to snatch a point.
Coach Bala attributed the improvement in performance to the new character amongst the boys.
“We had to change the boys’ mindset, gave them a new system of play, and make them believe they have the capacity and they can do it” he told npfl.ng.
The Coach has the unenviable task of lifting the team out of relegation spot but he remains optimistic about the chances of Kwara United.
“It is an achievable target, all we have to do is to manage what we have at hand to end the first stanza of the league and at the start of the second stanza we will reinforce the team again” he concluded.
Kwara United brings up the rear in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) 2017/18 season log. Starring the reality of possible return to the lower league, the Harmony Boys were condemned to produce a fine performance to force Sunshine to a draw in Akure.
Bala reasoned that the confidence earned from the defeat of Pillars pumped up the spirit of the players and commended their efforts in picking the draw away from home.
In the match, Kwara United took the lead on the 20th minute of the game, after Michael Ohanu’s pass found Alfred Stephen in the box. Stephen’s first attempt was pushed back by Stars’ goalkeeper Henry Ayodele, but he slammed the rebound effort into the net.
The Harmony Boys were then pegged back by Sunday Emmanuel’s double from well taken free kicks, but they pushed forward with confidence and got rewarded with the equaliser from a fine nod off the head of Sunday Chinedu to seal a point.
The Harmony Boys remain bottom of the league with 15 points from 14 games and will next play Enyimba in Ilorin.