Lobi Stars’ Ayo Saka has expressed happiness at the tune-up matches they have played since they returned to training ahead of the continuation of the league season.
The Pride of Benue have played not less than four friendly matches in the build-up to their league tie with Niger Tornadoes in Minna and Saka has praised the initiatives of the club’s management for approving of such games.
He said they have not only returned to their match fitness level but have also been made prepared psychologically for the rest of the league season through those friendly matches.
“I will say the management got this right this time arranging these quality friendly matches for us. It is not about the quality of the opponents but the chance to test our preparedness,” Saka told Goal.
“We have played against Aklosendi from Lafia who are playing in the National League. FC Minda and Tiki Taka FC are also among the opponents we have played and I can boldly say that we are almost set for the game with Tornadoes and our other opponents. It was right for the management to cut our holiday short.
“This is helping us now because it has enabled us to regain match fitness as quickly as possible. We want to consolidate our position at the top of the league with Akwa United now a threat to us. We know that we cannot afford to slow down and that we must as much as possible prevent a defeat in Minna.”
The former Enyimba midfielder pointed out that with the threat from Akwa United, Kano Pillars, and others it would be to their detriment if they relax at this stage and that what should be paramount to them is getting good results in the remainder of the league season.
“It is no joke that Akwa United, Kano Pillars, and other clubs are now a serious threat to our ambition to win the league title and we must take them seriously so that they do not disrupt what we have laboured for since the beginning of the season,” he continued.
“We must take all our remaining matches with keen interest because if we are able to secure results that are better than our rivals it will be difficult for them to overtake us. We want to win the league crown again and the only way to do so is to try and better the results that we have got thus far.
“It is the ideal time for us to win the league title based on what we have done consistently since the beginning of the season. I believe we can achieve it with more hard work and dedication from the players and the coaches.”