There is huge relief as Abia Warriors nightmares have seemingly ended after a brilliant run of form from the side.
The Umuahia Warriors collected their first maximum points as they walloped Sunshine Stars 4-1 to continue their rapid ascent up the Nigeria Professional Football League.
The atmosphere around Umuahia had been toxic after the club failed to pick points in any of their first four games, but optimism is emerging after a drastic improvement has been shown by the side in recent weeks.
Pressure has been building on Imama Amapakabo, but the fan-base will be delighted that the club kept faith in the manager after he guided them to draws against FC Ifeanyi Ubah, MFM FC and Lobi Stars before the morale boosting win over Sunshine Stars on Wednesday.
Their improvements have been obvious, too, and, from looking at the stats, it seems to have been Imama’s ability to spot where they have been going wrong that needs to be credited.
Warriors were simply too open throughout their opening four fixtures, as they tried to play with an expansive style, and were punished by opposition teams.
They were completing a sizeable number of passes more over the opening of the campaign than they currently are, with greater accuracy, but they were proving too easy to pick off.
As a result, Imama has chosen to tighten things up and it has worked to perfection.
The side are now making six more tackles and seven more interceptions, on average, per game than they were during their bad run.
They are also not allowing the opposition to have so many shots on their goal and they have got their rewards – only conceding twice during their past four games.
Another problem the team had was scoring goals. A team that score goals wins matches, and that was addressed in the 4-1 success against Abia Warriors.
It’s essential that Imama motivates his attackers to interpret pattern and deliver the goods at crucial moments. They need to convert begging chances.
This is a remarkable turnaround and Imama deserves huge credit for recovering from what looked like an irreparable start.