The acting Technical Adviser of Katsina United, Bishir Sadauki, has said he is using his new position to market himself in Nigerian football. In this interview with Trust Sports, the CAF ‘C’ licence holder spoke on his first assignment with Katsina United in the current season which was a 0-0 draw at Enugu Rangers, the support from the management and the target for the ‘Changi boys’ in the ongoing season.
Your first match as acting coach of Katsina United ended in a 0-0 draw with Enugu Rangers. How did that happen?
First, I thank God that we were able to get a point against a big side like Enugu Rangers. There is no coach who will go into a match with the belief or mindset that he is going to be defeated. So, we approached the match with utmost confidence. Katsina United is filled to the brim with quality players. So, what I did basically was to motivate my players and make them appreciate the fact that victory is possible anywhere they play. I congratulate my players on their sterling performance.
Is this your first time to be in charge of Katsina United’s technical crew?
No, this is not my first time. Actually, I was the Head Coach in the 2018/2019 season before Abdulazez Mohammed was brought in to take over from me. Before then, I was in charge when Katsina United got promoted to the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) in the 2015/2016 season. So, coaching Katsina United is nothing new.
What are your coaching credentials?
Unknown to many, I am one of the most qualified coaches in the NPFL. After I obtained my diploma certificate in coaching at the National Institute for Sports (NIS), I proceeded to obtain a Higher National Diploma (HND). Furthermore, I got my Confederation of African Football (CAF) ‘C’ licence and in 2015, I registered for CAF B which is yet to take place.
How much support are you enjoying from the management of Katsina United?
It has been massive. It is not only for me but the whole club. The management is doing its best to motivate us. This is nothing new because the management has always been supportive. There is no coach that is starved of the much needed support. As a matter of fact, apart from the management, Katsina United is enjoying the unflinching support of the government and people of the state.
Your next match is against 3SC, what should the fans expect?
We stumbled on the road in our last away match against Sporting FC Lagos when we suffered a slim 0-1 loss. However, we are going to redouble our efforts for a decent result in Ibadan against 3SC. Our opponents are not doing badly in the league so we are expecting a tough match on Sunday.
What do you know about 3SC?
They are one of the oldest clubs in Nigerian football that deserve all respect. As former continental champions, the club formerly called IICC Shooting Stars is to be respected at all times. However, on the field, we are not going to give them any respect. We also want to win to improve our standing on the table. We would give the match our best shot.
What is your message to the teeming fans of Katsina United?
They are our 12th player in the stands so we always appreciate their presence. But they should always be patient with us. Even when we are yet to score, they should continue to cheer on the players. Sometimes, goals don’t come early. Moreover, in football, you win, draw or lose even at home. But they should be rest assured that we would fight to always make them happy.
Would you say the fans are happy with your appointment?
I have not noticed anything to the contrary. I am enjoying the support of the fans because most of them know that I have paid my dues. Apart from the fact that I am an indigene of Katsina State, I have worked in the club under different coaches, so I am not new. They know my capabilities. Therefore, most of them are happy to see this new development. Moreover, we are a united family. We are all working to lift our state club to higher heights.
Earlier on, you said Katsina United are filled to the brim with talents. How do you manage the star players you have in the team?
It is not a problem at all because what we do in Katsina United is to rotate our players. When you have so many good players, you know those who give their best when they play away from home and those who play better at home. Once you know this, you then go on to select them based on their playing abilities at home and away. The tactics that are used for away matches most times are not the same for home matches and these players have different abilities. So, these factors are usually taken into consideration when selecting players for matches.
What is your appeal or advice for some of your players who are yet to play since the beginning of the current season?
I want to assure them that their time will come. They should continue to train hard so that when they are given the chance to play, they will justify their selection. I know what it means to be missing on the team sheet. I will continue to select players on merit so that everyone will get the chance to play. Normally, when players are not used, the tendency for them to be declared surplus to requirement is always there. We have to give every player a level playing field.
What is your assessment of officiating in the NPFL?
Honestly, there is improvement. Clubs now win away matches, some draw, while others lose at home and nothing happens. This is encouraging. However, there is always room for improvement. We have to support our referees to do more.
What do you have to say about the long hours clubs spent on the road to honour away matches?
It is not helping the players. They usually get tired even before they arrive at match venues. When I was in Niger Republic, they had a policy which I think we can emulate. For instance, in Nigeria, if we are to play Sporting Lagos, travel back to play at home and then travel back to play Remo Stars, they will allow us to play the two matches in Lagos and Ogun State before we travel back for our home match. I think we can consider this to reduce the pressure on the players and clubs.
What is your personal target as acting coach of Katsina United?
I will say the target for Katsina United is to finish the season among the top clubs. We don’t want to maintain our status in the league only but finish in a decent position. Personally, I see my appointment as an opportunity to market myself. I may be one of the best coaches around but I have to prove my worth for everyone to see. So, this is a golden opportunity which I am taking with both hands.