As hostilities in the round of 64, F.A/AITEO/Federation cup 2022 hots up in various centers across the country with six-time champions, Rangers International F.C billed to trade tackles with Bauchi state non-league side, A.B.J F.C (Auwalu Baba Jada), coach Abdul Maikaba, technical adviser of Rangers has assured the club’s followers that no team will be underrated.
Coach Maikaba who led Akwa United to the 2017 Aiteo cup triumph made this known in a chat, Friday, after the team’s last training session ahead of the encounter slated for the FIFA Goal Project Pitch, Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Sunday, July 31, 2022.
The vastly experienced and widely traveled tactician said, “After our push for a continental ticket in the NPFL failed to see the light of the day, we are condemned to give our best in the Aiteo cup. We will take each game as they come. We will not underrate any team. The federation cup is a competition full of surprises but I believe that we will be in the final after five games.”
He further said, “Playing against a non-league side will be tricky but we have prepared ourselves very well through some friendly matches against non-league teams in Enugu to know the approach to handle such clubs and I strongly believe that if complacency does not rear its head, we shall have something to celebrate at the end of the competition.”
Coach Maikaba said that the team is well motivated for the task ahead as management has done all in its powers to ensure that some match bonuses were released to the team as a further push to become champions again.
Rangers last won the oldest club competition in the country in 2018 when the then coach Olugbenga Ogunbote tutored side came from three goals down to draw level in the last seventeen minutes of the match that has been termed the ‘Asaba Miracle’ and won 5-4 on penalties against Kano Pillars. Last season, a 1-0 loss to eventual winners, Bayelsa United extinguished the dreams of winning the trophy a seventh time.
Recall that the Bauchi state representative owned by seasoned football administrator, Auwalu Baba Jada, in the preliminary round, defeated Jigawa state representative, Klarai United F.C, 4-0 in Makurdi on July 26, 2022.
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