Somiari Alalibo believes Shooting Stars will remain a hard nut to crack despite having little to play for against Enyimba on Sunday.
The People’s Elephant are in Ibadan to face Shooting Stars on the final day of the regular season, needing a win to secure a top three finish in group A and ultimately seal qualification for the Super Six playoff. A draw will also be enough, provided Akwa United do not beat Gombe United by up to four goals.
Conversely, the fixture has little or no consequence for Shooting as only an outrageously high scoreline – for or against – can nudge them from their current sixth place on the standing.
But in spite of the inconsequentiality of the game for Shooting, Alalibo, who featured for the entire duration in Enyimba’s 5-0 win against Gombe United, maintains that the Oluloye Warriors will not come easy.
“Maybe there would have been more tension if they were fighting for something – maybe to qualify for the Super Six or avoid relegation – but apart from that, we still expect them to be tough,” the centre-back proposed.
“They are a good team with an experienced coach and many good players. I know they struggled at the beginning of the season but they have been one of the best teams since the second round began.
“We played against them in Aba and we know they have quality. Despite the fact that they have nothing to play for, playing against Enyimba is enough motivation for any team.
“I remember when I was at Dakkada, each time we were to play against Enyimba, we would double or triple our preparations. The players, the coaches, the management; everyone would be pushing because there was always a point to prove against Enyimba. I know Shooting will come with the same motivation, so we don’t expect the game to be easy.”