Hamza Abara, the Technical Adviser of El-Kanemi Warriors Football Club, on Sunday said his players were to blame for their 0-1 loss to hosts Gombe United FC.
The Group A Match Day 13 fixture in the 2022/2023 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) was played at the Pantami Township Stadium.
Abara told sports journalists after the match that it was not his job to score but to teach his players how to score and win matches.
He also said that it was his players duty to heed the instruction and do the needful on the pitch.
”While on the pitch, the players are the ones in control of the game and the outcome of the match.
“I feel very bad. It was unfortunate for us. This is not what we desired or bargained with the boys. But the reverse has been the case.
“I think it is our responsibility to coach and teach them (players) how to score but it is not our responsibility to get on the field and score for them.
“If the players are outside, you have total control of them but once the whistle is blown and the game starts, they are the ones in control,” Abara said.
He said the game’s outcome was not good for his team in view of their position on the NPFL Group A table and efforts made for the club to avoid relegation.
The coach, however, said in spite of the defeat there was still hope that El-Kanemi Warriors would escape relegation.
He was particular that this would be possible if they could avoid repeating their mistakes which had cost them vital points.
“Today It was very unfortunate for us (that) we couldn’t adjust to carry the day. We lost,” Abara said.
Also, Aliyu Zubairu, the coach of Gombe United, said his team’s victory over El-Kanemi Warriors was a conscious effort and a well-executed plan.
Zubairu said they studied the visiting team and mapped out strategies to make the game uneasy for them.
“I am happy the game plan worked. The last match they played before coming here was an away match against Nasarawa United. I did my findings to know the tactics they used in defeating Nasarawa United in Jos.
“We equally worked out our plan to match their system. That was why they couldn’t find us easy to play. But, all the same, they are a good side,” he said.
Zubairu, who commended his players for the victory, however expressed displeasure with the goal scoring chances his team missed.
“It is not something that is encouraging, but we will continue to work on it. Goal scoring is all about nurturing. You keep nurturing.
“It is like putting a seed in the ground and you keep putting water. Practicing in and out makes them perfect and if not perfect, near perfection,” he said.
Zubairu said with the victory his team’s chances of getting a ticket to play on the continent next season should not be ruled out.
“If we can get our away victory, who says we cannot compete as well?” he said.
Anayo Ogbonna’s ninth minute goal from the penalty kick spot was all the hosts needed to earn the full points.
It helped them to secure their fourth home win of the season.