Enyimba coach Fatai Osho is well aware of the challenge ahead for his side, as they prepare to face San Pedro in their Confederation Cup group final match on Sunday.
After forcing leaders Hassania Agadir to a 1-1 draw at home last Sunday, the Aba club now need at least a point against the Ivorian club — who have already been eliminated — to be absolutely certain of a place in the knockout stages.
A defeat at Stade Felix-Houphoet-Boigny, Enyimba could end the Elephants hopes of progressing to the next phase.
Many favour the nine-time Nigerian champions to get a result in Abidjan, but Osho has advised his players not to underestimate the Pétrussiens, as he believes the bottom side could still be dangerous.
Speaking before his team’s departure to Abidjan, Osho dismissed speculations that the game against the already eliminated Ivorian side will be easy.
“San Pedro as at now are out of the competition completely and they stand to lose absolutely nothing, and when you’re playing with no pressure on you like that, some teams tend to play better in that situation and that’s why we have to be a bit careful. We have to really bring in our A-game to get the needed result.
“They should not be of an illusion that after all, the San Pedro team is out and they will be an easy picking. It’s not going to be that way. They have their honour to play for and they want to do well in front of their supporters. They’ve not been doing too well at home and I see a situation where they actually want to turn the table.”
Even if they lose in Abidjan, Enyimba could still advance if leaders Hassania Agadir beat Algerian side Paradou.
But Osho said his team are aiming to avoid placing their fate elsewhere by securing at least a point against San Pedro.
“Anything short of at least a draw could be so costly for the team (Enyimba), and when you need a draw like that you’ve got to go for a win, but if you actually plan to get a draw you might end up losing it altogether. So the orientation is for the players to go all out for victory, which is the normal thing in football.
“We want our destiny to be in our own hand. We don’t want to start monitoring what is happening (in the group’s other game) in Agadir. If we can get our result in Abidjan, regardless of what happens in Agadir we will be safe, we will be home and dry. And that’s exactly what we need to do and that’s what we are preaching to the players.”
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