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CAF Confederation Cup

Enyimba now focused after end to pay dispute, says Usman Abdallah

11:59 PM IST 10/08/18
Enyimba Team
The People’s Elephant tactician is relieved after an end to his players’ pay dispute unrest and has now demanded full focus from them

Enyimba coach, Usman Abdallah has stressed that he is extremely delighted that his players can now concentrate on their forthcoming Caf Confederation Cup build-up after an end to their industrial action.

The People’s Elephant players skipped practice session for three days ahead of their win or burst encounter with Djoliba AC of Mali next week because of pay dispute but they resumed training on Thursday morning before their return to Aba the same day.

Reports available to Goal hinted that Enyimba players were paid their two months’ salary arrears and they also received 10 out of 24 match bonuses they were owed before calling a truce and putting an end to their infamous strike action.

The coach who disclosed that he actually did his best to make his players have a change of hearts with their Caf Confederation Cup tie around the corner said they were not moved by it.

“We have started serious training ahead of the tie with Djoliba because the strike action has ended and the boys have returned to training,” Abdallah told Goal.

“They do not have any reason not to perform because what they agitated for has been partly redeemed. We were able to conduct a training session on Thursday and thereafter left for Aba where we shall start training from Friday.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure that we get a good result against Djoliba regardless of how our preparations for the game have gone. They have promised to make amends for the time wasted.

“I was able to prevail on them to engage in individual sessions so that we do not have to start from the scratch. We are assuring our fans that we are not going to fail them in Bamako. We shall do everything humanly possible to ensure that we pull through.”

The former Kano Pillars also expressed his gratitude to the Abia State Government for ensuring their smooth return to Aba.

“We are grateful to the State Governor (Okezie Ikpeazu for making that possible through his giant strides to ensure that Enyimba International Stadium, Aba is completed. The fact that we can resume training there now, speak volume of the hard work of the Abia State Government," he continued.

“It is not easy to return home after over two years of absence. We shall do our best to make our return very grand and special.”

Enyimba returned to Aba on Thursday evening since leaving the stadium during the 2015-16 season when they last won the league title-their seventh.

They have played in Calabar, Umuahia and Port Harcourt during their wandering days before the latest development.