By Patrick Omorodion, with Agency report
AS Enyimba Football Club of Aba begin their quest for another African Champions League glory, one of their own who now plies his trade with Al Hilal of Sudan, their opponent in today’s encounter at the Aba Stadium, Yusuf Mohammed, has sent a note of warning to the Aba Elephants.
Mohammed, who was a member of the Enyimba team that won a double in 2003 and 2004 before joining Al Hilal in 2005, told cafonline.com that his new team want the trophy more than the Aba side hence he would play his heart out today to ensure victory for the Sudanese side.
“I must play against Enyimba and also play very well not minding old relationships. That is why it is football. Friend today, enemy tomorrow! I owe allegiance to Hilal who by the way needs this cup more than Enyimba”, he said.
Mohammed who rejected the claim that Enyimba were superior to Al Hilal said that like Enyimba, his team have defeated big teams in Africa like Al Ahly of Egypt and ASEC of Cote dIvoire and they were not afraid of Eyimba but “We simply feel challenged not afraid.”
Throwing more light on why he thinks Hilal need the cup more than Enyimba, Mohammed said that men, women and children are all praying for the team’s success in this year’s competition and that because “the stakes are too high and the expectations too tall, nobody would want to squander the people’s goodwill. We do not want to disappoint our teeming supporters who are spread everywhere in the world, including north and south of Sudan.”
The team’s coach, Milutin “Micho” Sredrojevic who also attested to the strength of Enyimba told the BBC that playing against the Aba Elephants was like “going into a den of lions”, adding “In 16 home matches they didn’t concede even one goal in the Nigerian Premier League.
This is a very tough team to play — a team which has an iron defence, a creative midfield and a sharp attack.”
He however stressed that, “We are going to play very tactically because I have followed Enyimba for a long time and I know everything about them.
We know we are playing against a team which will have a huge advantage of the home crowd – but we will use all possible means to expose weak points of their team and to try to get a good result,” the coach said.