NPFL SPORTS GIST RECOUNTING PLATEAU UNITED’S POOR RUN IN THE 2018/2019 NPFL SEASON By Admin Posted on May 20, 2019 4 min read 0 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr 2017 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) winners Plateau United are one of the surprise names in the relegation zone of the 2018/19 league groups as the season draws to an end. Plateau United, coached by Abdu Maikaba won just one of their first seven league matches this season and have failed to sufficiently recover from that early season lethargy, compared to what their group leaders Akwa United (who also failed to win any of their first four games) have done. While Maikaba’s former side Akwa United have already secured a place in the season-ending Super Six playoff, his current side Plateau United, still occupy an inglorious position in the red zone with dangers of the drop hovering over the hitherto beautiful skies of Jos. Plateau welcomed back their first choice centre back Elijah Ogene to the starting lineup in their Match Day 20 clash at fellow relegation battlers Go Round on Thursday and he contributed immensely to their 1-1 draw. “It feels very good to be back, I was out of action after our game in Maiduguri (four weeks ago) when I fell sick. I thank God I’m back and better now and thankful for the point we got in Omoku as well,” said Ogene. Ogene traced the genesis of his team’s struggles this season to the initial absence of their Coach and the crowd disturbances that led to their playing home games away. With their head coach Maikaba away with the Nigeria Under 20s preparing for the Under 20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger, the team endured a torrid start to the campaign. A home draw to FC Ifeanyiubah on Match Day One was trailed by crowd disturbance which meant that the team was banished to Ilorin and Lafia for their next two home games. The team struggled. “It wasn’t easy at the beginning. We started very badly and the banishment did not help us too as it meant we were always on the road every two days. “Thank God we started getting it right especially in this second stanza and by the grace of God, we will escape the relegation. That’s what we’re really fighting for now,” said Ogene. In spite of their troubles, Ogene still believes his side can take the Cup route to land a continental spot at the end of the football season in Nigeria. With Nigeria’s four slots in CAF competitions restored, three teams will qualify to represent the country from the league while a fourth will emerge from the Cup winners.