Lobi Stars’ Austin Ogunye believes his team will benefit from the psychological facelift provided by their home win over MFM in the league on Wednesday ahead of Saturday’s Caf Champions League tie against ASEC Mimosas in Enugu.
The Pride of Benue are mathematically out of the lucrative African club competition even with an emphatic victory over the Ivorians on Saturday but Ogunye hinted that they have resolved to end the competition on a winning note and thus boost their confidence as they face top-light season squarely from next week.
He said it was important they got that crucial win against his former team and that they have arrived Enugu full of excitement and ready to take ASEC Mimosas to the cleaners and usurp them to the third position in Group A at the end of the group stage this weekend.
“It was a crushing defeat for us because we went into that game full of high expectations that things will augur well after the preparations we had ahead of the game but we were blown apart by their first-half performance and had to respond not to avoid more goals in the second half. We have forgotten about the defeat and are focused on ending the group stage on a good note by beating ASEC Mimosas.
“It was the reason we took the win over MFM with so much joy and delight because it was able to wipe away the anguish we had in Pretoria the other day. It came against my former team but life must go on and such is life. I am happy and most grateful with the tutelage I had under Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu and others at the club but I am with Lobi Stars now and holds my allegiance to them at present as a professional player.
“We have got the needed boost and it is just important that we go into Saturday’s game with optimism that we can beat ASEC Mimosas by the required number of goals and thus finish the group stage strongly despite our elimination from the competition. We need to redouble our efforts as our attention shifts to the league and we must do everything within our powers to retain the league title.”
The home win, courtesy of Dare Ojo and Bashiru Monsuru’s strikes in the 16th and 70th minutes which was only halved by Chijioke Akuneto’s goal for the Olukoya Boys in the 28th minute, has taken Lobi Stars to the sixth position in the Nigerian top-flight with 11 points from six games. Coach Solomon Ogbeide's tutored side are still with four matches at hand.