BY DICKSON AGBO
Mountain of Fire and Miracles (MFM) FC will be without their two influential forwards, Stephen Odey and Sikiru Olatumbosun when the second stanza of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) kicks off this Sunday but Club Manager, Fidelis Ilechukwu while admitting it is a huge challenge, assured their fans that there are capable replacements for the duo.
Odey is the league’s leading scorer thus far with 14 goals while Olatumbosun made global headlines with a Cable Network News (CNN) goal of the week after a spectacular goal against Rangers International at the Agege Stadium.
Asked how he hopes to cope with the absence of two influential players recently called to the National team for the friendly games between Corsica and Togo national teams, the Coach responded that he has players who are capable of fitting into the shoes of these two players who have been very instrumental to MFM’s fine run in the league so far.
“Of course it will be very difficult to cope without them. I will miss Odey and Olatunbosun but we also have other players in the team who are up to the task. We have already made plans to ensure that we don’t feel their absence with capable replacement”, Ilechukwu told www.npfl.ng
Mindful of the collapse of his team after an explosive run in the first stanza last season, Ilechukwu expressed a determination to avoid the mistakes of the last season which saw his side almost lose their place in the NPFL.
The Olukoya boys had enjoyed a good first half to the 2015/2016 NPFL season, but found themselves struggling for survival in the second half of the season. They edged FC IfeanyiUbah 1-0 in the final game of the season to guaranty their safety.
Ilechukwu, nicknamed The Working One by fans of the Lagos based club said he is not about to allow a repeat of the mistakes of last season.
“We learnt a lot from what happened last season and we have been working tirelessly so that such won’t repeat itself again,” he said.
The Coach went on to say that his team will take off from where they stopped before the mid season break.
“Definitely we will do our best to carry on from where we stopped in the first stanza of the league. Our ultimate target is to win the league and of course if we win the league then continental ticket is automatic.”
Ilechukwu also confirmed that he has made four new signings to bolster his squad ahead of the second half of the season which starts on Sunday.
The players are experienced left back Zikiye Jonathan who joins from Wikki Tourists, forwards Nojeem Akinyemi and Abubarka Haruna from Spartan FC of Agege and Lawal Abayomi from Young Strikers FC, a non-league side in Lagos.