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New Ikorodu Utd Coach says hates losing matches

The newly appointed Ikorodu United FC Coach, Jacob de Jong, on Monday said he hated losing matches but promised he would do his best to save the team from relegation.

Jong made the promise following his team’s Sunday 1-3 derby loss to MFM in the Nigeria Professional League (NPFL) Match Day 25 fixture at Agege Township Stadium.

The derby had Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on the stands with some members of the state executive council and legislature led by the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the newly appointed gaffer experienced a distressful defeat on his first outing with his new club.

Ikorodu United had appointed the Dutch with the mandate of improving the lot of the “Oga Boys’’ in the NPFL.

It will be recalled that Ikorodu United has yet to play any league match after the unfortunate accident involving some of its players along Enugu-Makurdi expressway.

The Oga Boys’ last game played at Onikan Stadium ended 1-1 against Akwa United.

Reacting to the loss, Jong said that he hoped to improve the lot of Ikorodu United as early as he could to save the Lagos-based soccer outfit from relegation.

“We fight to win but it is unfortunate we did not win, we have to push; we have to win to avoid relegation.

“The game was okay in the first half but in the second half, our physical condition dropped and we went down; we didn’t get enough balls again.

“It is disappointing to all of us, I hate losing; we did not make use of our chances but they made use of theirs; which was not good enough.

“About few weeks ago, some new players came in, about eight of them and they are training with us,’’ he said.

MFM on the other hand has been battling with inconsistency with a poor run of form of five winless streaks in the NPFL.

The Olukoya Boys were beaten 0-1 in front of their home fans in the Match Day 24 game which eventually led to fans invasion on the pitch.

The League Management Company (LMC), thereafter sanctioned MFM and ordered it to play the next three matches behind closed doors with a fine of N4 million.

The LMC, however, suspended MFM’s closed door punishment owing to the Television right it entered with Super Sport for the coverage of the local derby.

Fans were allowed to be part of the game which turned out to be an exciting moment for the Lagos fans to cheer their clubs.

On the club’s coming back to winning ways, MFM’s Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu, said injuries to some key players in the team accounted for the previous poor run.

“Most of our key players have injuries and this affected the team; we are gradually coming up though some of them have yet to recover fully; they will catch up later.

“Some other factors also contributed to the loss of form; the expectation from us is too high, people should know that we are new in the league; the players are new to the system.

“We only have about four players that have previously played in the NPFL, so, when the expectation is too high we get disappointing results.

“I can’t promise that MFM FC can make the top four; that will be a tough call, if at the end of the league MFM escape relegation, we will give glory to God,’’ he said

NAN reports that MFM occupies 9th place in the NPFL log with 33 points from 23 matches; winning nine, drew six and lost eight.

Ikorodu United on the other hand has played 22 matches, had a paltry three wins, drew six and lost 13. It garnered 15 points and occupies 19th position on the log.

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