Coach Gbenga Ogunbote handles Sunshine Football Club of Akure. The team defeated Heartland Football Club of Owerri 2-1 in a Nigeria Premier League cracker played at Bisi Onabanjo Interntional Stadium Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, South West, Nigeria on Sunday, 16 January. After the grudge encounter, Ogunbote told TAIWO ADELU Sunshineâ€™s determination to end the season as the league leaders
How would you describe your teamâ€™s victory over Heartland FC Owerri today (Sunday)?
Iâ€™m very glad with the outcome of the match. The victory was hard fought. What made me happy is that Heartland came to our home last season to pick a point. But this season we were able to defeat them. This shows that there is an improvement in the team.
Do you think your players deserved to win the match, judging from the stiff opposition they met in Heartland?
Of course, we deserved the three points at stake in this match. You can see the first goal that we scored. It showed the determination of my boys to win this match. When the equalizer came in, my players were undeterred, they did not lose hope. These gave them the courage to mount pressure on the visiting team. You can see how Heartland players were so aggressive in their approach to the extent of confronting the centre referee at a point in the course of the match. Iâ€™m so glad that despite all this we won the game.
Heartland Coach, Emma Oswigwe was saying that the referee was unfair to his team, how would you react to this?
Itâ€™s been my style not comment on officiating in any match that involved my team. I think the referee did his best to be fair. I saw him as an unbiased umpire who tried his best to be fair to the two teams.
Your next match is against JUTH FC of Jos, what are your expectations?
Iâ€™m expecting nothing but victory. I understand that the JUTH players are a good team, but they cannot be better than my team at all. This will be an away game. I will try my best to ensure that we either win or at least get out with a point from the match to consolidate our position on the league table.
With the victory over Heartland today, will you say your team are closing in on your ambition to win the league?
What I will say now is that we are on course. We are second on the league table. The target is to win this league if possible and most importantly to qualify for the continental competition next season. Every member of the team knows these ambitions and we are all focus in achieving them by the grace of God. I want to assure our fans both home and abroad that Sunshine are on course to achieve something big this season. I mean something that everybody will be proud of.
Is the management of the club supportive?
The management is doing its best to ensure that we do not lack anything. Iâ€™m impressed with the relationship between the technical crew and the management of Sunshine.