Davao Aguilas are currently riding a momentum of their own as they aim to finish the PFL season strong as a build up for the league cup, the Copa Paulino Alcantara. Now on a five game unbeaten run, the Mindanao-based squad are in a very good position to end in third, but don’t they take anyone lightly.
Speaking to FOX Sports Philippines before their win against an obviously revamped and improved Global Cebu, Aguilas Assistant Coach Leigh Manson shared his assessment of the squad with regards to their sustained efforts in strengthening the club, improving their performances, and how they’ve finally built a run; avoiding the inconsistencies they’ve suffered as a team in the past.
“We are actually moving forward well. We need consistency in our results. I’ve seen the team win 3-1 against Kaya Iloilo, 5-0 over Stallion Laguna and 3-0 against Ceres-Negros; those are the top four teams here (in the league, including our team). So on our day, (the results show that) we can compete against anyone, and we need to do it now every game. We have players monitored every game so I can guarantee the fans our players are working harder now for the club.”
Asked then how they are going to prepare against a tricky Global Cebu given that the squad had suddenly bolstered their ranks with an almost complete overhaul and some strong individuals joining in, the Scottish mentor was quick to give a more encompassing statement to their preparations.
“We prepare as normal. We don’t take anyone lightly. We are professional in all our game preparation. Players are working hard before each fixture on and off the pitch.”
The remarks indeed seemed more timely given that their hold of the third spot is still not confirmed as they are in a neck and neck battle for third against Stallion Laguna who they will face in their final league match on Wednesday August 22. Davao Aguilas would need at least a draw to avoid being overtaken by their opponents who still have a game in hand.
Finally, with the Copa Paulino Alcantara getting closer than ever, when asked how the recent league season’s experiences and the lessons acquired from the campaign have prepared the squad heading into the next challenge that could take them to an AFC Cup berth, Coach Manson pointed out the importance of always putting in the hard-work and the focus in executing the game plan.
“This season has shown we can compete with any team in the Philippines if we work hard and eliminate the basic errors we were prone to in the past. The players are a close group working hard, but also competing against each other daily.
“I can assure you they are proud to play for Davao Aguilas FC the city and the fans,” added the coach.
Davao Aguilas’ final PFL match against an in-form Stallion Laguna will be a good barometer of their readiness heading into the cup as the Binan-based outfit proved to be one of the toughest team’s to crack against for them looking at their historic matchups across the league’s first two seasons (2W, 2L, 4D).
And with draw for the cup just recently concluded (as of this writing), the Davaoenos find themselves with a much harder path being drawn in Group A with PFL champions Ceres-Negros and Stallion Laguna.
Indeed, nothing is handed on a silver platter for this ambitious organisation, so the need to be always on their toes is a must. Lessons might have been learned and the drive and support for constant improvements are always there. But the road to their aim of winning the cup and booking their AFC Cup berth is already happening at this moment and, if their current run of results is to be taken into consideration, it’s quite optimistic.
Photo credit: Davao Aguilas Football Club Facebook Page