By James Agberebi:
Former Enugu Rangers coach Lawrence Akpokona has advised the club and Nigeria’s three other teams on the continent to be ready to face any opponents in the first round of the 2017 CAF Champions League, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
The draws for next year’s CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup will hold on Wednesday in Cairo, Egypt.
Nigeria Professional Football League champions Rangers, runners-up Rivers United, Federation Cup winners FC IfeanyiUbah and Wikki Tourists will all know their first round opponents later today.
“At this early stage of the draws, you don’t know who to meet. There are strong teams, average teams and weak teams,” Akpokona told Completesportsnigeria.com.
“But my advice to Rangers and the other three teams is that they should be ready to face any team.
“And again the most important thing is the kind of preparation they embark on because they don’t know who they will be drawn against. And the first round of the qualifiers is very important.”
He added: “Nobody goes into the CAF competitions and not wanting to do well. Football is about team work, so everybody, the players, coaching crew and management should work together. Players, coaches must be paid as and when due. I believe if all this is done our four representatives will do well.”
Akpokona shared his concerns about Rangers’ ability to retain their league title after ending a 32-year drought.
“It’s not going to be easy for Rangers retaining the league title come next season,” Akpokona added.
“As a champion, all eyes are on you, everybody wants to beat the champion which means Rangers must be ready to fight. Because it is easier to get to the top but very difficult to stay at the top.”