Plateau United coach says the first leg will help his team prepare properly for Saturday’s return leg
Fidelis Ilechukwu, Plateau United Technical Adviser says his team still has a 50/50 chance of qualifying for the 2022/23 CAF Champions League group stage.
Jos-based Plateau United on Sunday came from behind to beat Esperance of Tunisia 2-1 in a CAF Champions League second preliminary round first leg fixture in Abuja.
Ilechukwu, however, told reporters at a post-match press conference that the result meant both teams still had a 50/50 chance of qualifying for the competition’s group stage.
He admitted that even though his team won the match, they still had a lot to do if they hope to progress.
“To me, it’s a 50/50 chance for us now because this is football.
“After all, nobody believed that we were going to win this game due to the experience and pedigree of our opponents.
“Before this game, we had talked to ourselves and had a good discussion on the need to ensure we score a lot of goals in the first leg here at home.
“We have found ourselves in this kind of situation so many times before, even in the local league, and we have always dug deep to emerge victorious at the end.
“So, I wasn’t really bothered when we were a goal down because I knew the quality of players that I have.
“I was confident that they will bounce back and win the game,” the coach said.
He, however, stated that the job was not yet done.
“We will go back to the drawing and re-strategise to ensure that we perfect our tactics and approach to the game,” Ilechukwu said.
He added that their goal ahead of the game was to gain experience and use the first leg to prepare for what they intend to achieve in the return fixture.
“So, we will build from what we have achieved here today and ensure that we approach the second leg with more strength and vigour.
“We are not going to sit back and defend in the second leg in Tunisia, but we will rather come out all guns blazing because we understand what is at stake
We will quickly move on from this victory and approach the second leg as though we are still at par with our opponents,” the coach said.
Also, Mustapha Ibrahim, scorer of Plateau United’s second goal during the match, expressed gratitude to the fans who turned up to cheer the team.