Ikorudu United as not be performing well in the first half of the season and most improve on their failings if they are to remain in the NPFL. The situation can be redeemed if the club chiefs can put aside their personal preferences and their egos to seek proper solutions to the problems enveloping the club. In this feature, we run down five things the Oga Boys must do if they are to rescue their season
- Recruit experienced players: Ikorodu United started the season poorly compared to their city neighbours MFM FC who hit the ground running with an away win over Nasarawa United. The only difference between the pair is that the Olukoya Boys went for youthful but experienced players who have steadily become NPFL-quality players. The result is that they ended the first stanza in 10th. Ikorodu United must aim for a similar profile of player and use the mid-season transfer shrewdly if they want to stick around.
- Consolidate Okpodu’s hard work: The technical crew put in place at the beginning of the season didn’t help the Oga Boys’ cause and the coaches made technical errors due to naivety. The result was the team’s freefall before Okpodu, a former Super Falcons and Warri Wolves handler, came to the rescue towards the middle of the first stanza. Okpodu must improve on his technical input over the last few months if they are to survive the chop at the end of the season. He needs all the support he can get to raise a formidable team.
- Ease the pressure: The negative role pressure can play on a team cannot be overemphasised, especially one that is struggling like Ikorodu United. The team’s management and technical crew should desist from making comments that could either stir up panic or disparage the players ahead of crucial matches. It may be termed mind games if revealing interviews are granted ahead of crunch fixtures with management revealing the team’s tactics, but giving away such information can also put the team on the back foot. Reducing the pressure can help United express themselves, and hopefully, results will improve.
- Acquire a good psychologist: At a period like this, Ikorodu United’s management team needs to work on the psyche of the players to get the best out of them. It may be termed a hopeless situation for a team at the bottom of the league with 13 points from 18 matches to retain NPFL status at the end of the season. However, only eight points off safety, it’s still achievable, and positivity could make a massive difference. A good psychologist could help the players’ confidence return, but could it prompt a complete turnaround?
- Learn how to motivate players and coaches: The importance of good motivation cannot be compared with anything else, and money can be as effective as anything else. Teams at the top need to be driven financially to fight for the major honours, while motivation can be even harder to find if you’re not regularly winning games, particularly if the financial backing isn’t there. The club must be alive to their responsibilities, and the club’s management must ensure that the players are motivated to the max.