Derby against Ifeanyi Ubah will be tough, Ilechukwu admits

Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu of Heartland FC of Owerri has said he expects a tough encounter against the host, FC Ifeanyi Ubah, in today’s oriental derby slated for the FC Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium in Nnewi.

The duel, a match day 11 fixture of the Nigeria Professional Football League, will see the Anambra Warriors face The Hearts to consolidate their positions on the table of the NPFL.

FC Ifeanyi Ubah currently 11th on the log have won four matches, drawn two and lost four 10 fixtures, while the visitors, The Heartland are 13th on the table after 10 games having won three, drew three of their clashes and lost four, as the duel promises to be a titanic matchup.

Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Ilechukwu said that the level of officiating in the league has been topnotch, saying that it has now increased the level of confidence of teams and the leverage to win matches anywhere.

“The game against FC Ifeanyi Ubah is an oriental derby and it is not going to be an easy game. But we thank God for the level of officiating introduced by the LMC (League Management Company), which has now given confidence to teams that they too can win an away fixtures. This now means that teams can win or draw anywhere during league games.

“My team is just up coming up because in football when you are trying to build up a new team, a lot of things happen and we are trying to make sure that we don’t put ourselves under pressure.

“Though, we haven’t got our rhythm yet as we still have some lapses to correct in the team. The new philosophy I introduced will take some time before the players can adapt,” he said, adding that some players don’t respond to tactics during match situation even when they showed promises at training. Thank God we’ve been able to overcome that and hopefully, we will get result in tomorrow’s match,” Ilechukwu stated.

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