The Enyimba boss who is also an executive committee member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) spoke at the departure wing of Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, Friday as the People’s Elephant boarded Air Cote D’Ivoire and flew to Abidjan.
Enyimba are second in the group standings and would require at least a draw to go through, but depending on the outcome of the Hassan Union Sportif Agadir of Morocco and Paradou of Algeria clash.
Agadir are already through to the quarter finals and an unlikely 5-0 win for the Algerians might swing the pendulum to their favour.
Anyansi-Agwu, Who has steered the Nigerian champions through to many domestic and continental silverware spoke to Completesports.com with shrewd optimism as the players set out for the fate defining clash in Abidjan.
“It is an all important game for us. It is a match that will define our position (in the Group D). It’s a match that will determine whether we will progress in the championship or not,” states the soft-spoken Enyimba boss, picking his words carefully.
“This game against FC SAN Pedro is very crucial, a match I believe our destiny is in our own hands as regards the outcome. And it’s a match that we are looking at very seriously with everything – with all concentration, must be for us to achieve our aim.
“Our aim, determination and ambition is to go to Abidjan, conquer FC SAN Pedro and come back victorious.”
Amidst his confidence, Anyansi-Agwu admitted it won’t be a walk in the park for the two time Champions inside the 8, 000 capacity Stade Augusten Denise in San Pedro on Sunday.
“Yes, there’s no doubt about that. It’s a very tricky match, if you understand what football is all about,” he added.
“It’s even trickier than the match in Morocco (Agadir versus Paradox), because this is a team that has nothing to lose, a team that will play for honour and pride and a team that will be driven by the desire and motivation to prove a point.
“So, when you are in such a situation, when you are up against such a team, you don’t take anything for granted.
“Therefore, I believe, and I want to say it that my team is prepared in all forms, physically and mentally, looking forward to face any or all situations or challenges that may occur in Abidjan.
“We’re going there for qualification, above every other thing. It doesn’t matter the way we qualified, but we will certainly qualify”.
Looking over his shoulders, Anyansi-Agwu admitted that the Enyimba have passed through some rough patches in recent times as regards results of their games that have not reflected the quality and potentials of the dreaded People’s Elephant.
“Our situation is very precarious considering our results in recent times,” he admitted.
“(But) I want to assure our fans all over the World that they should not lose faith. Everybody should be positive. This will be the first (away) win for Enyimba.
“This should be the opportunity for us to relaunch ourselves, to rebuild the confidence reposed in us and the team. This is the time, the defining moment, for us to prove ourselves.
“With God on our side, I know, and I believe, that it is achievable. We are very, very positive. Yes, a draw might push us through to qualification. But we are not looking at a draw, instead, we are looking at a win. We want an outright win because we don’t want stories.
“We don’t want to start doing some permutations as to what our opponents are playing (in Agadir). And when we are winning, we want to be very comfortable, regardless of the result in Morocco.
“It’s of no consequence, so our focus is to go there, win and bounce back fully, because the moment we win that match (against Pedro), Enyimba will be unstoppable.
“We’ve gone through challenges, serious challenges that we don’t want to discuss at this moment. But we are happy that those dark days are over. Those challenges are over. Though it could still be there but we’ve overcome it”.
Anyansi-Agwu would derive some positives in the team which he acknowledged, gives him confidence of success in the battle of Abidjan.
“The team is together. I believe in the ability of our players. Their preparation is key, that’s what matters to me. Their preparation has given me confidence to tell Nigerians that Enyimba are going to Abidjan to win”, Anyansi-Agwu stressed.
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