Rivers Utd has the quality to represent Nigeria, we expected a Grand style win like this – Eguma

Rivers United head coach, Stanley Eguma says his team expected their commanding victory over Academica Petroleos Clube do Lobito, while re-affirming their credentials to represent Nigeria on the continent.

Rivers United got off to an impressive start in Group C of the CAF Confederation Cup after thrashing visiting Academica Petroleos Clube do Lobito of Angola 3-0 on Sunday evening at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.

“We thank God for the victory. I feel very happy. It was a very big win. We worked for it. We expected a win, and in a Grand style like this.

“The players put up a good effort, but were a bit jittery in the first half. Most of the players are playing on the continent for the very first time, so I wasn’t surprised.

“When we got the first goal, I expected them to play with a lot of confidence but we didn’t witness that. After the break, we had to speak to them and rejig our tactics. And in the second half, we came up and got it better.

“It was a good one for us. We try to play attacking football. We try to also hold possession, to ensure that we don’t lose balls unnecessarily to the opponents, because they have players that can damage us, once they have the ball.” Eguma said.

Some players seemed to be played out of position by the Rivers United gaffer.

“I don’t understand what you mean by natural position. They are my players, I know them better than you. Where I played them is where I wanted them and they gave me what I wanted. They played in the right position where I trained them for.” The Rivers-born tactician clarified.

The former Nigeria league champions are expected to navigate their campaign with a lot of pressure, being the only surviving Nigerian club on the continent.

“We’re not under pressure. We know that we have the quality and wherewithal to represent the country well as we’ve done in the past. Our plan is to surpass what we achieved last season. We know where we are heading to, and we’re not going back.” The CAF-licenced coach noted.

The Port Harcourt-based side have begun their campaign with their first home game in Uyo, away from their natural home ground, the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.

“Uyo and Port Harcourt are both cities in Nigeria. We are a Nigerian team so we can play anywhere in Nigeria. We have even left the shores of Nigeria to play our home game in Benin Republic in the past. Although, every club has their comfort zone. For Rivers United, Port Harcourt is our fortress. But now that the condition doesn’t permit us to play there, we can fit in anywhere, as long as it’s in Nigeria. We’ve now taken Uyo as our home and it is yielding result for us.

“It wasn’t an easy game. No opponent is a pushover. People are calling them underdogs. For a team to get to this stage, I do not see them as underdogs. We see them as a very strong foe and we gave our best today. We still need to work harder because we have other opponents in the group that might be tougher. We’re not relying on this result today. We’ve to work above our capacity because of the oppositions we’re going to face.” Coach Eguma concluded.

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