With goals seemingly difficult to come by at their hitherto fortress at the Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium, Nnewi, one of the defenders of the FC Ifeanyiubah, Ikenna Cooper has implored the Anambra Warriors attackers to shoot more with precision while in their opponents’ goal area than they are doing presently after another laboured home win against Heartland on Sunday.
Cooper insists their inability to take most of their chances will continue to haunt them and pile needless pressure on the defenders in their attempt to hold on to their slim goal advantage especially in their home games in the ongoing Nigeria Professional Football League season which entered Matchday 11 last weekend.
Although the Anambra Warriors topped the chart with the team with the best home record with 16 points from possible 18 after six games played in Nnewi but they have only scored more than one goal once in the matches they have played before their fans-the 2-0 win over Wikki Tourists early this month while others have ended in slim victories.
They defeated Adamawa United, Rivers United, Delta Force and Heartland all by the odd margin while they were not fortunate to bridge Lobi Stars who escaped Nnewi with a goalless draw.
Cooper who is one of the few senior players remaining in the team after the mass exodus of last season told npfl.ng that they must work on their inability to convert most of the opportunities they created both home and away.
“I think we need to take our chances better than we presently are doing,” Cooper began in his exclusive chat with npfl.ng.
“Our attackers need to brace up and score more goals for us so that we won’t be under tremendous pressure in our attempt to defend a goal lead. It is not proper that we are struggling to get a win either home or away. I believe we can do better.”
While Uche Okagbue’s men are the best judging by their home results they are among the worst teams with poor away record with only a point garnered from the five games they have played outside their fortress.
They are 17th based on the rating of their away matches. Cooper acknowledged that the Anambra Warriors can improve on their away statistics starting from their next game against Nasarawa United this weekend in Lafia.
The defender affirmed: “We are going there to get the three points. Nasarawa United are yet to get their bearing this season and we are confident that we can go there to get the three points at stake.”
The light-skinned player nonetheless applauded the performance of Heartland in their latest Oriental derby but was quick to note that the scores would have been more than one had they taken the chances they made in the game.
He continued: “We are happy with the victory and it was a plus for us that we won the game even though we would have hoped to score more goals than the solitary one we got.
“We were able to defend the game very well and we held on. It is a local derby and it was normal for Heartland to play the way they did. They beat last season here but it was a different case this term.
“No, I don’t think it was the right word to use that we were lucky to win. How many attempts did we have at their goal? We missed a lot of chances because we could have scored more than one. Had we scored the second goal we would have killed off their morale because we created more chances than they did.”
FC Ifeanyiubah have risen to the sixth position after their latest slim win over Heartland in Nnewi as they have amassed 17 points from 33 after 11 fixtures. They next travel to Lafia as guests of struggling Nasarawa United this weekend.