By Abiodun Adewale.
Bendel Insurance striker, Ismael Sarki, says he wasn’t worried when the goals dried up for a stretch of seven games this season, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Sarki finally scored again last weekend, but he insists his attention was on the overall success of the Group A leaders of the abridged Nigeria Professional Football League.
He scored his fifth goal of the season and also assisted another one for Austin Ogunye in the 2-1 win over El-Kanemi Warriors on match-day 15 to break his seven-game drought. The last time he scored was in the 2-2 draw against 3SC on match-day seven in Ibadan.
The striker has been involved in all the games for the Benin Arsenal this season, and despite firing blanks after scoring four goals in the first seven matches, Insurance have relied on Sarki’s striking partner, Osarenkhoe Imade, who has eight goals already and other players who have scored important goals.
“I was not bothered about it at all because the team was doing well, so it doesn’t really matter if I score or not. The mentality is for us as a team to be able to win matches and keep a good shape. With the hard work and commitment, I knew I was going to be on the scorers’ sheet again, so it didn’t affect me,” Sarki told PUNCH Sports Extra.
Thanks to their incredible 15-game unbeaten run, Insurance are top of Group A with 31 points and are basking in the possibility of replicating their form at the Super 6 playoffs.
“I must say it’s a very good season for all of us here. The motivation by the government, the fans and the technical crew all bring about the team spirit. So far so good, we have done so well in the league, we are going to keep working hard and keep pushing, we are not going to be overwhelmed by our recent form. We shall keep fighting until the end of the season,” Sarki added.
With three games left in the regular season of the NPFL, Insurance have arrived Lagos ahead of their Federation Cup tie against ABS in Lagos on Wednesday. Their next assignment in the NPFL is an away game against Gombe United on Sunday.