Heartland FC head coach, Erasmus Onuh Olottah says it is time for all true lovers of the club to get behind the team and ensure there are concerted efforts geared towards helping the team overcome their present predicament.
The Owerri-based club outclassed current league leaders, Rivers United 2-0 at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri on Saturday through the goals from Sunday Chinedu and Chijioke Mbaoma in the 54th and 61st minutes.
But Olottah in his post-match interview with the media stated that it was no time to start celebrating because so many things that would aid the club’s quest to escape relegation have not been done and that for the former league champions to stand any chance these basic necessities must be seriously looked into to complement his and that of his players’ efforts.
The former Niger Tornadoes coach noted that Heartland’s precarious situation on the league table is not a hopeless situation if the management and all lovers of the club are alive to their responsibilities.
“What we need is encouragement and not condemnation. When I talked about logistics, the first thing I said after resumption was for the team’s camp to be relocated from Orlu to Owerri but it was not done on time,” Olottah disclosed.
“It was only done about a month ago. We have seen that the team has been improving from strength to strength. There is still a lot to be done. I am under pressure and I don’t know what to do for now. But the pressure issue will be explained later. At the appropriate time, we will talk about it.”
The experienced coach commended the role played by substitute Alexander Alfred and goalkeeper Chijioke Ejiogu who were very outstanding in the game.
He pointed out that he was put under constant criticism for approving the signing of Alexander who got the assist for the second goal and could have scored one himself if he had not missed a sitter quite late in the game.
Olottah thumbed up the performance of Ejiogu who stood between Rivers United and goal but admonished the experienced goalie to work on his attitude if he is to extend his professional career.
“I must commend Alexander Alfred. He is still an upcoming player and he has played two games and had two assists. I was called all sorts of names when I signed him that he was too young and too small to play football. We don’t play football with size and with tribe. It is played with your technical know-how. I introduced him in the game with Rangers we did well and also today he was fantastic,” Olottah disclosed.
“Alfred Alexander was my joker in this game. It is not as if I am unable to start him but let him continue to enter in the second half to complement the work of others.
“Chijioke Ejiogu needs to work on his character to complement his on-pitch display.”
The Heartland FC coach tasked the handlers of the team to do all within their reach to ensure the club get the necessary support that will help them leave the relegation zone for good
“We are at the crucial stage and it is necessary that all logistics are provided to ensure that we still give the team a chance to swim out of the relegation.
“I am relieved that we have won our game today and that the team went up. I alone can’t keep the team afloat. I need assistance. We need to be motivated,” he concluded.
What does this mean?
Heartland FC will temporarily swim out of the relegation zone by virtue of the home win which lifted them to 16th spot on the league table with 31 points from 28 games but they have played at least a game more than those below them.
Despite the defeat, Rivers United remain at the top with 58 points from 28 games.
Heartland FC will travel to Abuja to face Kano Pillars next weekend while Rivers United are to host Remo Stars in Port Harcourt. Both are Matchday 29 ties.