Vice Chairman and General Manager of Rangers International FC of Enugu, Ozor Paul Chibuzor, has called on Rangers fans and supporters across the nation not to fret over anything, declaring that it is divinely ordained for the club to win the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) this season.
Rangers opened the season on high octane, leading the log for several weeks until Rivers United and Wikki Tourists of Bauchi caught up with them to now set up a tough and tight title chase.
Into the second half of the season, Rangers recovered its lead but has currently been overtaken by Wikki Tourists who by match day 32 beat Sunshine of Akure 3-2 to go up with 53 points while Rangers whose fixture was postponed has 51 points in the second place. Even at that, Rivers United is also comfortably in the title chase with 50 points. But Chibuzor insists Rangers is well on course for the title and there is nothing to worry about.
“This is a year the Almighty has set out for Rangers to win the title after thirty- something years. It is really a great thing coming to us. I don’t want anybody to be worried. This year is for Rangers.”
“Yes, Wikki is a great team and doing well but we still have one game outstanding to meet up with the contenders. When we play that game, by God’s grace, Rangers will come up again. As far as we are concerned right now, looking at the table, Rangers is topping on the log, the way we see it.”
Rangers title drought for about three decades has been a cause of pain for Rangers diehard supporters and fans but this season has come with some tonic and the line is falling good for them as Chibuzor reveals.
“A lot of things have contributed to Rangers good run. Most important is that, for the first time, Rangers decided to go on pre-season camping and did it well. I will give credit to my great coach, Imama Amapakabo who put everything in place. From the beginning of the season to this time, Rangers have been on top and there is nothing that will make us go back.”
“Another thing that has contributed is the good governor we have in Enugu State, His Excellency, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. He has come as a sports lover and has made Rangers one of his priorities. He is behind the team 100 percent. He said it and believing what he has been doing for us, the boys are happy. We have paid up to date. Motivation is on the increase. From the beginning of the season till now, Rangers have been in camp. The boys stay together and live as brothers of one family.”
“I also give credit to the management which has made sure that the needs of the boys are satisfied. We are meeting all their demands and what we owe to Enugu people, to the fans of Enugu, to the supporters of Rangers, to Igbo people in general and, I believe, to Nigerians in general, to see that this year’s NPFL title comes down to Enugu State.”
Rangers success this season has not only been about the results on the pitch but even more about the return of its fans with the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, always bubbling with full capacity on match days. Chibuzor says it is the result of new strategies employed.
“We took another step forward by playing our games at night. That motivated our fans. We targeted them very well and knew that if we play the games on Fridays after they have come back from work and from their market places that the stadium will be filled.”
“We did all the sensitization that is necessary and because of the kind of quality of players we have right now, the quality of football the boys are playing right now, people and the old fans of Rangers have come back. Their coming back is a motivation to the players, to the management and the state. A lot has been done and we are making sure that it is sustained to drive Rangers to greater success.”
Rangers is away to Nasarawa United this weekend just as Wikki Tourists visits FC IfeanyiUbah in Nnewi. The result of the ties is expected to have significant impact on the footing on both teams for the title contention. Notably, also, third placed Rivers United with 50 points will be looking to post a good result against visiting Plateau United in Port Harcourt to enable them stand up to Rangers and Wikki. Even at that, Enyimba FC of Aba, rested now from the CAF Champions league to concentrate on the NPFL, is set to give a hot chase. Though they have 45 points, they have many matches outstanding to shore up, having played only 28 games as at match day 32.