Enyimba FC’s 0-1 loss to visiting Raja Casablanca of Morocco in their CAF Confederation Cup final first leg encounter on Wednesday must really hurt.

But their coach, Usman Abdullah, is not willing to blame his boys or himself for it and by his words explaining what they have been through, he seems justified.

Abdullah said during a post-match press briefing held at the Enyimba International FC Stadium complex that his boys were engaged close to the encounter and never had any rest.

He said his team played five matches in ten days, which affected their performance and quality of play, having suffered exhaustion because of being on the road constantly.

“NFF should have protected us because we are the only team in Nigeria playing the African cup matches. Now they have seen what had happened.

“Going to Gombe is a two-day trip. We played a match on Sunday and left in the morning. We only arrived Gombe the next day, Tuesday, and on Wednesday, we played a game against one of the toughest clubs in Nigeria.

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“On Saturday morning, we had to leave and on our arrival in Aba on Sunday, we had only one day left to train and to play.

“I think the NFF should have protected us and granted some privilege but they did not; we have learnt our lessons”, Abdullah said.

He said that his team had not lost hope of advancing in the game because the match in Aba was just the first leg of their encounter with Raja Casablanca.

Agreed, the team would need to do a lot of work to win the second leg of the encounter but how are they being supported to prepare adequately?

“It is far from being over because this is the first part of the match and now we are familiar with our opponent.

“We played them without knowing them but having known them now, we would have to go to the drawing board and do some work”, he said.