Head coach of Akwa United Ayodeji Ayeni has admitted that the just concluded 2021-2022 Nigeria Professional Football League season was a difficult one for his side following their inability to retain the title they won last campaign.
The Promise Keepers lost their last match of the season 2-0 to Enugu Rangers in Awka and ended the campaign in 9th place with 52 points from 38 games, 25 points behind champions Rivers United.
Coach Ayeni in an exclusive interview with the club’s official website www.akwaunitedfc.com noted that the Promise Keepers’ final standing on the log was disappointing but emphasized that the team will be fortified ahead of next season.
“The just concluded season was really tough despite our effort to achieve our set goal. We endured difficult moments especially at home where we dropped vital points in games we should have won comfortably and at the end of the day we rounded-off our season in 9th position and as far as I’m concerned, that is not good enough for a team like Akwa United
” I took charge of the club in mid-season and we put in our best to ensure we finish strong but it wasn’t to be. Every match we played was difficult because all our opponents wanted to prove a point playing against the champions. We also observed that goal scoring was a big challenge and we hope to fix that as we look forward to building a more formidable squad for the next football season.
“As we will be embarking on end-of-season break, we will reflect on the lessons learnt from the just concluded season because we hope to bounce back stronger”.
The 2021 champions recorded 13 victories,13 draws with 12 loses in 38 league games scoring 35 while conceding 36 goals in the course of the season.
However, coach Ayodeji Ayeni’s team will attempt to end the season on a high as they prepare to compete for honours in the Federation (Aiteo) Cup ( a competition they won in 2015 and 2017) in which the winner will represent Nigeria in the CAF Confederation Cup competition.