Football

Rangers target upset against Katsina, as team celebrates Ogunbote’s NFF Coach of the Year Award

After a positive return to action in the NPFL which saw it chalk up eight points from available twelve in four matches, Rangers International F.C is aiming for an upset win on the road as Katsina United play host to the ‘Flying Antelopes’ in a re-scheduled match day 2 encounter on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at the Mohammadu Dikko stadium, Katsina.

With two home victories over Sunshine Stars and Remo Stars and  valuable away draws in Sagamu, mid-week and Minna at the weekend, the coach Olugbenga Ogunbote tutored side is in the right frame of mind to annex all points at stake in Katsina while awaiting the reverse fixture four days later in Enugu.

Coach Ogunbote, who was crowned Aiteo/NFF Coach-Of-The-Year 2018 on Monday in Lagos, said in an exclusive chat, “We are going to Katsina with a strong belief that we would get something from the match. Like I always say, we take every match as they come and this one is not different.”

On the state of mind of his players, the vastly experienced gaffer said, “The players are in the best state of mind to get the needed result in Katsina. I remember that last season, they ran away with a lone goal victory but this term, we are set to re-write the history.”

Attacking sensation for the Enugu side and FIFA World cup star, Michael Uchebo, after firing blank in Minna said, “No doubt, we are fired up to deliver the goods in Katsina. I know it will be a difficult match but we are in the right frame of mind to wrestle all the three points at stake.”

Katsina United at the weekend dispatched Lobi Stars 2-0 with Tasiu Lawal and Bashir Sherif’ 18th and 85th minute goals separating both sides.

On the group A log of the abridged league, Katsina United occupy the 4th position with 17 points from twelve matches played while the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers are 3rd with same number of points from eight games executed.

Rangers will next play Katsina United in the reverse fixture which is a match day 14 encounter scheduled for the ‘Cathedral’, Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu, on April 7, 2019 with kickoff fixed for 4.00pm.

In a related development, experienced Rangers coach, Olugbenga Ogunbote, has won the Aiteo/NFF Coach-of-the-Year award beating strong contenders, Gernot Rohr of the Super Eagles and Solomon Ogbeide of Lobi Stars for his exploits in the past season.

At the award gala night held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, the Ijebu-Ode born tactician polled the highest number of votes to emerge victorious for his first national individual award.

A highly elated Ogunbote who is expected to lead his wards to a re-scheduled NPFL encounter in Katsina, Wednesday against Katsina United said, “It can only be God. I give Him all the praise and thanks just as I appreciate organizers of the awards for nominating me in the first place. The award will only push me to do more in my place of work, Rangers, so that we can conquer again this season. Like I always say, it shall end in praise.”

He thanked the government and people of Enugu state for giving him the opportunity to practice what he loves doing with Rangers just as he poured encomiums on the management, staff, coaches and players of the Enugu side for all the support he got in his first season in charge at the club.

Other award winners on the night: Men’s Player of the Year – Ahmed Musa.

Women’s Player of the Year – Onome Ebi.

 

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