The immediate past Technical Adviser of Adamawa United, Coach Bello Mohammed has said the poor run of the NPFL club which has continued unabated has vindicated him. Speaking to Trust Sports, Mohammed who insisted that he bears no grudge against anyone said going by the problems he faced, no coach in the world would success in Adamawa United.
How disappointed were you when you were removed as the Technical Adviser of Adamawa United?
To be very honest with you, it was a sad moment for me but I wasn’t in anyway disappointed. I wanted everyone to see if I was the problem of the team. Now it is clear. If I were the problem, they would have won all the matches they have played without me at the helm of affairs. Since I left, they have played four matches. Out of the matches, they have lost three and drawn one at home. They have not won a single match. This simply means I was not the problem.
What would you say is the problem with the club?
There are a lot of problems. The way I was operating, I don’t think any coach in the world would have succeeded with the team. Even if you bring Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho, they will still fail. There was no enabling environment for me to succeed with the club.There was no money, no mature players in the team. The same players we used in the National League were the same players I was using in the NPFL. I was denied the opportunity to recruit tested players. And again, my players were not well paid. No motivation. We travelled in rickety vehicles and ended up spending so many hours on the road. Most times, we slept on the road. I am not a magician. I managed the team with home grown players. I want people to see the difference. Instead of suspension, I deserve commendation for doing a wonderful job.
Your suspension must have come to you as a rude shock. Do you hold anything against the management of the club?
Well, the suspension came as a shock considering the sacrifices I made. However, I have taken everything in good faith. It is part of the game. I hold no grudge against anybody. If the decision to suspend me was taken in the best interest of the club, we all can see what is happening.
Would you accept another offer to coach Adamawa United?
I will accept to coach the club again if certain conditions are met. First and foremost, we must have the financial base. We have to be given professional treatment. We must go for tested players and they must be motivated. And we are playing our home matches away from home. Playing in Gombe has been a serious problem. And immediately I qualified the team for the NPFL, all my backroom staff were sacked. This was not the right thing to do. There is something known as nemesis. These are some of the issues we would have to look into, if I am to coach the team again.
In view of your suspension, would you be sad, if Adamawa United are relegated?
I will be sad because it took us over 13 years to get to the NPFL. It has been really tough. I never imagined by this time Adamawa United would be struggling against relegation. If the right things were done, we wouldn’t have been where we are at the moment. I left the team in the 16th position but presently we are the last on the table. This is really worrisome. I am an indigene of Adamawa State so I feel great pain.
Considering the problems of the club which you enumerated earlier, what solutions would your proffer?
As we speak, the club is without a management committee. It is run by the sports ministry. Considering bureaucratic bottlenecks, the club is suffering. I suggest that Adamawa United should be taken to Government House for quick responses to all financial needs. In addition, a board for the club should be constituted for efficient management.
Looking back, what was your happiest moment with Adamawa United in the NPFL?
I will say the day we defeated Katsina United 4-0. That was a massive victory for us and it brought me so much joy.
What was your most painful defeat?
Our defeat at home to Sunshine Stars was painful. We played well, yet we failed to get the result we deserved. It was a sad day for all of us in Adamawa United.
What is your take on the ‘indiscriminate sacking’ of coaches in the NPFL?
It is quite unfortunate because it won’t allow coaches to grow. It is a combination of impatience and greed on the side of some of the football administrators. This happens mostly with government owned clubs where you find square pegs in round holes. The right thing is to give coaches at least three or four year contracts. And such contracts should be respected.
Most clubs in the NPFL are owned by state governments. Is this healthy for the development of Nigerian football?
It is indeed hampering the growth of Nigerian football. I want to make a passionate appeal to corporate organisations and wealthy individuals to come in and sponsor clubs. They have to sponsor clubs so that we can have enough teams to accommodate everyone. I want to give you an example using Adamawa United. In Adamawa state, this is the only club competing in the NPFL so everybody’s eyes are on the club. Every coach wants to be there. If there are other teams around, everybody will be engaged and there will be healthy competition.
You seem not to be popular in Nigerian football….
I may not be very popular in Nigerian football but I am quite popular in the north-east as far as football is concerned. I attended so many courses at the National Institute for Sports, NIS.I have Diploma and Higher diploma certificates respectively from NIS. I also have both CAF C and B coaching licences. I have been coaching for the past 25 years but I have been tied down because I am still a civil servant. I have confined myself to my state that is why many people don’t know about me. I always go on secondments. I don’t sign contracts with clubs. However, as I said earlier, in the north-east, I am a very popular coach. I have coached both the male and female teams in Adamawa State. In fact I was the one who qualified Adamawa Queens to the Nigeria Women Professional Football League. Later on, I may resign from civil service, if I get a good offer from any club in the NPFL.