By Diegwu Nwankwor
After a first season at Plateau United which saw the former champions struggle, Abdu Maikaba has enjoyed a brilliant start to the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season placing 2nd on the table after 17 games.
The coach has attributed the team’s good run to an adequate preseason the team had.
Maikaba explained to www.npfl.ng that last season’s poor outing which saw Plateau United narrowly avoiding relegation led to a resolve to prove a point this season.
Maikaba spent most part of his first spell with the national junior team and only had occasional time with his players.
“Actually, our experience of last season helped in our preparation for this season. It was a lesson for us because we had to survive the relegation on the last day of the season.
“That is why we started preparations for this season very early; we noticed our problems from last season. In terms of playing personnel, we tried to recruit the players we felt will help us be better and started preparations very early. We played lots of friendlies, tournaments and it helped a lot. That is why you see that we are consistent this season,” the former Akwa United coach stated.
In addition to Plateau United, Rivers United and Lobi Stars have been the most consistent teams in the league this season and there has been a lot of talk from NPFL pundits that this season title will be fought between the three teams but Abdul Maikaba differs.
According to Maikaba, it is too early to label a particular team or teams title contenders or favorites as there are still teams with outstanding matches.
However, he praised the level of competitiveness of the NPFL this season and believes that it is only a matter of time before the league starts benefitting from it financially.
“I do not believe that it is a three-way battle for the NPFL. In fact, it is too early for us to tag a team or teams favorite because we are not yet halfway through the season and we still have teams like Rangers, Enyimba that have outstanding matches.
“If they win all of their outstanding matches which is totally possible then they are back in contention to win the league. However, the fact that we are having a very competitive league is very good. If we continue in this way, it will only be a matter of time before we start benefitting financially.’ Maikaba told www.npfl.ng.