Nigerian manager Ndubuisi Egbo is relishing the prospect of his first-ever Champions League qualifying match with FK Tirana, when they face Georgian side, Dinamo Tbilisi, in their 2020/21 UEFA Champions League first-round qualifying tie on Wednesday (today).
Egbo led Tirana to the Albanian league title last season.
“It’s going to be a difficult game because Dinamo Tbilisi have started their league season and they have played about 10 games,” Egbo said.
“They occupy the first position in their league and they have the momentum going for them more than us that need a bit of rest.
“We also have some new players in our team that are not used to our pattern of play and their teammates yet. We have trained together, to give a good account of ourselves.”
Winning the Albanian topflight title made Egbo the first African to achieve the feat. He is also set to become the first African to manage a team in the UCL in today’s tie against the Georgians.
“I’m looking forward to the game. I’m not chasing personal records. I’m a team player. My aim is to take the Albanian champions to the UEFA Champions league group stage and show what they can do.
“We are concentrating on winning the tie. That’s my focus as we have 80 per cent of the team that won the league but we have three new players coming into the team. The first striker is not ready, the right-back and one of the central defenders is doubtful as well.”
Meanwhile, two former Nigerian footballers have backed Egbo to lead Tirana to the UCL group stage.
“He has a good team that can compete and make it to the group stage of the Champions League. So, I think he is on course to make history,” Dosu Joseph said.
Emmanuel Amuneke also believes Egbo will bounce back from their 2-0 Albanian Cup final loss to Teuta Durres to win today.
“I believe he will progress. The Cup loss will help him past his Champions league opponents.”