Akwa United coach Abdu Maikaba believes his side will win the Nigerian league this season.
The Kano-born coach joined the Promise Keepers at the start of the season from Wikki Tourists. He didn’t have a dream start, though. With forwards Hassan Babangida, Kufre Ebong and Ubong Friday out injured, Akwa struggled, picking up only three points from their opening six fixtures.
However, a good run towards the end of the first stanza- which culminated in a shock 1-0 win at Kano Pillars and a home victory against second-placed MFM FC- pushed the Uyo side into fifth place.
The turnaround in fortunes has won back the support of disgruntled fans, but with Babangida still out injured, Ebong leaving for Europe, some players released and the possibility of fresh injuries, Maikaba deemed it necessary to recruit five players during the mid-seaon transfer window.
Akwa signed former Nigeria U20 international, Harmony Ikande; Akwa Starlets forward, Edem Akakatang; Nigeria international, Gabriel Okechukwu; Katsina United midfielder, Christopher Lolo; and Sunshine Stars goalkeeper, Ojo Olorunleke.
Maikaba believes the new signings will fortify the squad.
“We had some problems in the first round. But with (the recruitment of) these players, I believe those problems are solved,” he said during Wednesday’s players unveiling ceremony.
Last season, Akwa ended the season 14th on the table- the best in their history. Maikaba, though, expects the Orange Boys to finish this season as champions.
“Expect very good good football from Akwa United, expect Akwa United to be champions of Nigerian football.
” We expect a glorious finish. “