Rangers deserve to be champions – Akpokona



Ex-coach of Enugu Rangers, Lawrence Akpokona, has said his former club deserves to be crowned Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions this year.

The Flying Antelopes are all but league winners, for the first time since 1984.
Rangers only need to avoid defeat by El-Kanemi Warriors at home this weekend, to be confirmed champions for the seventh time.

Akpokona, who coached the team between 2004 and 2006, said he was not been surprised by their impressive displays this season.

“I saw Rangers when they did their pre-season in Benin City. I saw a bunch of very young and exciting young players and I remember telling somebody I was impressed with what I had seen. I said back then that if the coaching crew can handle the players well, they can get something this season,” Akpokona toldCompletesportsnigeria.com.

“I have been following them throughout the season and they’ve been very consistent. They’ve come this far and the league title is within touching distance, it is theres to lose.
“It will be a great honour for them because they’ve worked hard. When I was there we could only finish second, we got to play in the 2004 CAF Confederation Cup.

“I rejoice with them, I’m very happy because they’ve been long overdue for the league title.”

Akpokona also showered encomium on coach Imama Amakapabo and urged young coaches to emulate him.

“Imama has understudied a lot of experienced coaches. From his days in Port Harcourt, he went through coach Monday Sinclair and late Amodu Shuiabu in Sharks. Someone who is not level headed cannot work with such coaches,” he continued.

“Most of these young coaches are too much in a hurry. The way some of them talk, you will think they are even better than Sir Alex Ferguson. Imama is not arrogant, he is humble and has learnt from veteran coaches in Nigeria.”