Akwa United having a rebirth under Rafael Everton, says Michael Ibe

The Promise Keepers attacker has expressed his admiration for the style and approach of their new coach which they are trying to adjust to

Akwa United’s Michael Ibe has stated that he and his teammates are still trying to understand the tactics and coaching philosophy of their new handler, Rafael Everton.

Everton replaced Abdu Maikaba who joined Plateau United at the start of the pre-season activities and Ibe who is in his fourth season with the Promise Keepers asserted that all the players have been on their toes trying to give their best to impress the new coach.

He said the coach at his first speech to them told them to feel free with him but that he won’t condone indolence and that he likes his players to always be ready to work for the good of the team.

“We are doing our best to convince the coach that we have the desire and the hunger to take Akwa United to the next level,” Ibe told Goal.

“The coach has told us what he expects of us and what we must always do to keep our places in the team. We are happy to have him and we are doing our best to convince him that we can help Akwa United win the league title next season. We have been given our best because we do not want to be dropped.

“His discussion when he was initially introduced to us was very simple and straightforward. He told us that he wants us to give 100 percent at every time we are called upon to represent the club and that we must always put the interest of the club first in all that we do. He said he would give everybody his chance and I can say that he is keeping to that.”

Ibe said that they have played five friendly matches and have won three while losing the other two and that the games have enabled the technical crew what is left for the team to do before the start of the season.

He said he was impressed with the double win they had against Rivers United in Uyo and Port Harcourt respectively and that the victory over his former club, Abia Warriors was also very noteworthy to him and his teammates.

“We have played five friendly games against top-flight teams and I can boldly say that we gave our best in those games,” he continued.

Article continues below

“We lost two games against Heartland and Go Round but the honest truth is that we do not deserve to lose those games because we played very well and could have secured at least draw in both games. We have learned our lessons and there won’t be a repeat performance.

“We showed what we could do with the victories against Abia Warriors and Rivers United in Uyo and Port Harcourt even without conceding a goal in those games. We returned back to Uyo on Friday and we are expected to resume training on Monday evening.”

Akwa United finished second in the league last season just two points behind eventual champions, Lobi Stars.