The Damaturu side seems to be playing for pride in a largely underwhelming season where they are at the bottom of the NPFL Group B with a miserly 14 points out of a possible 51 points. They are nine points adrift of Premier League safety with five games remaining.
“We know that we are at the wrong end of the table but we won’t give up in as much as we are still with a chance of escaping,” Ago told Goal.
“We know we are involved in a local derby against El Kanemi Warriors who are just two hours away from us in terms of distance. This is a local derby and it means a lot more to us than the three points. We must ensure we win this and claim that we are the team to beat in the North East.
“We all saw what took place in the first leg and how we were very close to picking at least a point in Maiduguri only to lose 2-1. We need to pay them back in their own coins and I believe the time to do that is now.”
Ago, a retired referee of repute noted that it is difficult to explain why they found themselves in their present state but they do not want to harbour negative thoughts.
“We had actually planned to compete better than we did at the beginning of the season but things just changed suddenly,” Ago added.
“We are not giving up yet and I still have the feeling that the players will turn up in the remaining games of the season and salvage our season. We can only talk about what happens next after the end of the games.
“We tried to give our former coach the enabling environment that should have made the team survive relegation. He recruited the players he felt would enable him to actualise our target but it is most unfortunate that things just turned around.”