*Want a trophy before leaving Nasarawa next season
Coach Kabiru Dogo is among the new generation of coaches in the Nigerian Premier League and he has excelled on the job having worked with Diskabog FC of Ilorin, ABS FC of Ilorin and now with Nasarawa United FC of Lafia. He spoke with www.gongnews.net Olayinka Elebute about his team and what needs to be done to get the best from coaches. Enjoy the excerpts of the interview.
Lot of people complain your players don’t take their chances. How’re you correcting that?
So far the issue of goal scoring I cannot say I’m satisfied, if you look at it 99% of clubs around the world always complain of that. I think the experience in Nigeria here is that all coaches still complain about the same. But me as a person believe the only thing we can do is to show them how to do it, its left for them to take it. I know its not been easy in terms of goalscoring and with time they’ll improve.
Your team lost some key players before the new season. Is that what’s affecting the team now?
Definitely, it will affect us somehow, because the issue of blending is not an easy thing. Its a programme of one to two seasons. But I believe the players are adjusting. Its just a matter of time and we will overcome these things.
You quit the team few weeks ago. Was that due to pressure from management or you just decided you wanted to leave on your own?
It not an issue of management or anyone. I’ve had 100 % support from the government to the management. From the players and fans. But sometimes we’re human, that game was a game I planned to win the three points on. But my boys that day played below expectations and the reaction of some of the fans I wasn’t happy about it. I thought they’ll be patient with the team, but that day I was annoyed seriously because the boys let me down. And I wanted them to realise the job is not something I’m afraid of losing. That just came up as a result of annoyance with the players.
Who then persuaded you to rescind your decision?
A lot of people, the government, some of the players were in my house begging me to stay. And some of my senior colleagues. Everyone advised me not to do that. These are people I can’t refuse their pleas.
What’s your target for Nasarawa United this season?
I’ve told them by the end of the season I will be stepping down. I’ve spent about years here. So I believe it’s time to move on to another challenge. But before I leave, I’ve promised them a trophy. It’s either in the league or the federation cup. And I believe by God grace I’ll achieve that. I have a target I always pray for. I want to leave in a very good way by giving them their first trophy in history.
Looking at the schedule for the league a lot of people have complained about that. What’s your take on that?
As far as I’m concerned, I’m not complaining about that. I know it’s not easy with the road system in the country.
But we have to commend the organisers too. They’ve tried their best. We have option of about 35 to 40 players. If the first eleven are not ready we can bring on other player’s which I signed. Because if they’re not good I won’t sign them. I take the responsibility for signing them so I must be able to use them. Otherwise why are they paying them? I just believe with time we’ll all understand this and adjust to the LMC programme. They’re trying their best. If you look at the league in other parts of the world, we’re far behind and that’s the only way we can finish up and meet the calendar with others. So I won’t blame them on that.
Coaches are being attacked by fans. How would you appeal to them?
That’s another area club administrator have to work on. Because the organisers, referees, players and club administrators have been changing their attitude towards the game but the only people unchanged are the fans. The league has changed. It’s not a situation where you have to win at home at all cost. But the fans need to be educated seriously. The media, organisers and clubs need to do this through the media. Coaches are not gods, we can only train people. Nigerian fans are far behind. They don’t know what support is all about. They don’t know the meaning of having a club. Perhaps it’s due to our economic situation, because the way our fans behave is bad. If things continue like this, we’re going to find it difficult for our best players to come out for home matches. Even the coaches can’t be settled for home games. The players will be looking to play in away games where there will be no pressure. And if you losing your home games there will be problems. So they have to learn how to endure. Losing at home doesn’t mean you can’t win elsewhere. Also more security needs to be provided. If possible secret agents sitting among the fans. I think with that troublemaker will be arrested.