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Lobi Stars clash 'a must win' for Akwa United, says Maikaba

00:26 WAT 26/08/2017
Sunshine Stars vs Akwa United
The Promise Keepers had bowed to Ifeanyi Ubah but the gaffer aims getting back to winning ways with key players' return in bid for a continental spot

Akwa United coach Abdul Maikaba insists victory over Lobi Stars is a must to step up the continental spot bid as five absent key players return for Friday's night encounter.

Having lost 1-0 at Ifeanyi Ubah, the Promise Keepers will welcome back Ariwachukwu Emmanuel, Alhassan Ibrahim, Aremu Afeez and Ifeanyi Ifeanyi from CHAN qualifiers with Super Eagles B.

As well, forward Christian Pyagbara, who is returning from trails in Europe to make the 18-man squad for the crucial showdown with the Pride of Benue at Uyo Township Stadium.

"This game is very critical for us. At this stage of the season, we have our destiny in our hands and we cannot afford to lose it," Maikaba told media.

"We have three matches before the end of the season starting from this game against Lobi Stars. Our target is to pick all available points so we can finish strong and also meet our target at the end of the season.

"The [Lobi Stars] game is a must win for us, the players are ready and committed to give their best. With three matches to go, a lot can still change and if we win all our remaining matches, then we will finish in a very comfortable position.

Despite the poor state of the field, the former Wikki Tourist gaffer insists such will not stop them from securing maximum points.

"We are told the match will be played at the old Uyo Township Stadium. Although the surface may affect the flow of our game, but one thing is certain, we are determined to win this match irrespective of the venue."