Despite six points off joint leaders Rangers International, Kano Pillars and MFM FC and five points adrift of fourth placed Lobi Stars, Giwa FC skipper Akide Ibrahim believes his club can push for their first Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL title this season.
Giwa’s 2-1 home victory over Rivers United on Matchday 4 and 1-1 away draw at Tornadoes on 24 February earned the Coach Segun Ogunbote side just four points from four games to place 16th on the log. The club, who lost their opening game by a lone goal to Ifeanyi Ubah FC, has an outstanding Match Day 3 encounter away to Nasarawa United on March 23 .
Ibrahim, who spoke to npfl. ng after Giwa FC suffered a 2-1 loss to Shooting Stars at Adamasingba Stadium, Ibadan last Sunday, reckons the Jos-based club has the potentials to challenge Rangers and other leaders for the title.
“We are just five or six points behind the top four clubs and this difference is just a temporary setback for us. Although, I will agree we had a bad game against Shooting Stars in Ibadan and there was the loss of our first home match to IfeanyiUbah. These losses are so painful but we have resolved to put them behind and forge ahead”, Ibrahim said.
After Enyimba (70 points) and Warri Wolves (66 points) had secured top two places in the 2014-2015 NPL season, Giwa FC, who were close to making history, had 63 points as at Matchday 37 and needed to win their last match at Nasarawa to grab at least a CAF Confederation Cup ticket. But they crashed by 2-0 to finish fifth with inferior goal difference behind Nasarawa United and Wikki Tourists who garnered 63 points apiece with +11 and +9 goal difference respectively.
The above indices, according to Ibrahim have gone with history and Giwa FC are renewed for new heights this time round.
“We were almost there last season but lost out unexpectedly at the end. But things have since changed in our camp; we have a few new experienced players including Mutiu Adegoke and Isiaka Olawale, whose experience will rub off on the younger players in the club”.
Ibrahim admitted it could take time for Giwa FC’s players to adapt to Ogunbote’s methods, claiming their team-work so far was a sign things would work positively for the club.