Ahead of the Aiteo Cup finals scheduled for this weekend, coaches of the two teams, Abubakar Bala of Niger Tornadoes and Abdul Maikaba of Akwa United, have started playing the mind game with a view to having each other drop guard into the dwell.
Bala who was at the reverse fixture of the semi finals between in which Akwa defeated Sunshine Stars of Akure 3-1 in Uyo on Sunday evening, had praised Akwa United as top quality, suggesting a concession of superiority but Coach Maikaba promptly disregarded the gesture as a simple mind game, saying he would not be led on.
“I came to Uyo to see the semi final match and study both teams, knowing that our opponent at the final will emerge from any of them. It was an interesting match and Akwa United proved it is a good team with top quality players. They played better than their opponents and were also lucky to have come away with a 3-1. It not going to be easy playing them at the finals but we are not afraid of them,” Bala had said.
Reacting to the compliments of the Tornadoes coach, Maikaba said it might just be a mind game and would not be deceived to underrate the opponents.
“It might be a mind game. I will not take the game lightly. If they can beat the league champions, beat the Federation Cup defending champions, then they deserve where they are,” Maikaba offered back.
We will look at them to know how to handle them and strategise. We will put up a plan for the game and if it works for us and we end up as champions, I will be very happy. If I win a trophy in my first year as coach of the club, I will be very very happy,” Maikaba concluded.