Heartland coach, Nduka Ndubuisi has given his players a pat on the back even after losing 0-1 to their hosts, Enyimba in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) saying his side were not outplayed in the Matchday 19 encounter at the Aba Township Stadium on Sunday.
Ndubuisi said his side lost to a luckier side as his wards gave excellent account of themselves in the rain-soaked encounter.
“I’m not disappointed by the outcome of the match, we played very coordinated game to earn a point in the encounter if not the slippery nature of the pitch due to heavy down pour and few missed chances.
“I think we lost to the luckier not the better side because Enyimba were not better than my wards in the game. Both side gave good account of themselves as expected in a derby, we’ve taken the defeat in good faith,” said the former Plateau United coach.
Nduka said he had hoped to end the first stanza of the league season on a winning note.
“I’m not happy heading into the mid-term break on a losing note, I never planned to lose this encounter but it has happened.
“We’ll go into the mid-term break to carry out an over view of what happened in the first stanza and work out modalities on how to comeback better and stronger.
“I’m positive we’ll perform better in the second stanza though I don’t consider our performance in the first stanza a poor one.
“The league title is still within reach, we’ll come back to give it serious challenge,” said the former Sharks coach.
Heartland ended the NPFL first stanza on 28 points from possible 57. The NPFL second stanza is expected to commence on July 04.