Head coach of Enyimba, Usman Abd’Allah believes the next three sets of matches could be the toughest in the first round of the Nigeria Professional Football League season.
With only three matchdays left, Rangers International are the only side in group A to have secured passage to the next round of the league, although Enyimba FC, alongside three others – Lobi Stars, MFM FC and Rivers United – remain front runners for two other playoff slots.
Only five points separate the top three from the relegation zone, meaning as many as nine of the group’s twelve teams still have mathematical chances of going down.
Enyimba’s last three fixtures are against Remo Stars, Niger Tornadoes and Katsina United – teams that have struggled for balance all through the season – but Abd’Allah believes the level of competition in the group means victory in any of the matches will not come on a silver platter.
“We are in a situation whereby it’s either a team is trying to qualify (for the playoff) or is struggling to get out of relegation. So when you look at it there’s no team in the middle that you’ll say is comfortable. So it’s the same. The tempo is very high now, I think it’s tougher than the beginning.
“Now Remo is the next assignment (for Enyimba) and we have to concentrate and get a good result away. It is going to be difficult, that is true. It is difficult but the most important thing is to focus and keep our heads down and try to get a good result and qualify.
“It’s all about the three matches to go so we have to do everything to see that we get one of the slots. Like I told you I don’t care whether it’s first, second or third.”
Enyimba’s match against Remo, the first of their last three, holds on Thursday at the Gateway International Stadium Sagamu. Kick off is scheduled for 4pm.