Coach Abubakar Bala says his Niger Tornadoes Football Club side have the needed technical depth to defeat FC IfeanyiUbah FC of Nnewi when they clash on Saturday in the AITEO Cup.
Bala told newsmen in Minna on Friday ahead of the semi-final first leg match slated for Lokoja that he was confident of victory against the 2016 Federation Cup winners.
He said: “I respect FC IfeanyiUbah as the defending champions in this Cup competition, but my young side has the skills and technical ability to defeat them when we meet.
“Also, I respect our opponents as one of the Nigeria Professional Football League teams, but the players are not exceptional.
“We played against them twice last season and we have seen their weak areas.
“But before we face them, we need to work on our own weak areas too and, where we need to improve, we will improve them.
“However, we are going to give them a good game in our temporary home of Lokoja and also give them a good match in Nnewi too when we meet for the return leg.”
The coach said he and his technical crew colleagues have been careful in selecting young talented players aged between 18 and 25 in their pre-NPFL season activities.
Bala said: “Some people didn’t believe us, but we believed in the recruitment we had made.
“We believed in the players we recruited and reinforced our team based on age category.
“We recruited young boys that will listen to us, and are willing to play to instructions.”
FC IfeanyiUbah eliminated Abubakar Bukola Saraki FC after a 4-0 aggregate win.
On their part, Niger Tornadoes eliminated new NPFL champions Plateau United 4-2 aggregate to reach the semi-finals.