Akwa United forward Micheal Ibe admits his side were not at their best after their 1-0 defeat against Lobi Stars in Wednesday’s rescheduled Nigeria Professional Football League encounter.
Substitute Austin Ogunye’sfirst-half strike was all the Pride of Benue required to condemn Abdu Maikaba’s men to their third defeat of the season.
But the former Abia Warriors man blamed their narrow loss in Markudi on travel stress, but he is confident they will recover their winning form against Al-Ittahid on Libya.
"We had a fair game despite the fact that the home side won. It was a tough match and everyone can attest to the fact that we were really not at our best," Ibe told Goal.
"I think we were tired from our journey back to Nigeria to the Gambia and that really affected our performance against Lobi Stars. We were really stressed out.
“We had about stop-over in three different countries before landing in Nigeria and heading to Markudi.
"Though, that's no excuse because as players we must strive to always be at our best but in a situation like this as one cannot cheat nature.
"I won't say I'm disappointed with our performance. We played out our heart to win in the Gambia and it was not easy for us.
"We have to put it behind us on focus on our upcoming game in the Caf Confederation Cup with the hope to win. It will be another tough task for us but nothing is impossible."
Akwa United are fifth on the table with 16 points from nine games and will face Libya's Al-Ittihad in the first round, the first leg of Caf Confederation Cup in Tunis next Wednesday.