Mr Paul Bassey, Chairman, Akwa United FC of Uyo, has urged the players to sustain the club’s winning tempo against their Gambian opponents in the CAF Confederation Cup encounter in Uyo.
Bassey made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Uyo.
NAN reports that Akwa United will host Banjul Hawks FC in the first leg fixtures of the CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Sunday.
Akwa United are currently on top of the league table with 16 points after seven games.
The club won the AITEO Cup, formerly called the Federation Cup by defeating Niger Tornadoes 3-2 on penalties at the Agege Stadium in October, 2017.
Bassey said the club should ensure it was not only known in the country but also on the continent by defeating the visiting Gambian side.
“This year is good because the season started early enough. This has given us good match practice ahead of our CAF Confederations Cup game against our Gambian counterpart.
“We are not worried about playing the first leg at home; the most important thing is to be able to showcase ourselves whether at home or away.
“We just need to play well and score some goals before going to Banjul for the second leg,’’ he said.
Bassey said that though the club had little information about the Gambian side, the players should defeat them.
“The truth is, we have little information about our opponents as we had difficulties in laying our hands on any of their videos either in training or competitive matches.
“However, from the little scouting we have done, we know that they are a formidable side and always try to slow the momentum when in possession.
“But they often look vulnerable at the back against more young and energetic teams like ours who play quick attacking football.
“We are not intimidated by their style of football as our boys have been equipped by the matches they have played in the league and we will be ready to crush the Gambians’ defensive tactics and formation,’’ he said.
“It was also very important that we won our last game at home against Wikki Tourists by a convincing 4-0 margin last Sunday as it was our final preparatory game before the continental tie.
“I was impressed by the way the players and technical crew responded and I am confident that the goals we recorded will give us the necessary confidence and boost ahead of Sunday’s continental tie.’’
The Hawks, who arrived in Uyo from Banjul on Wednesday will host Akwa United in the return leg scheduled for Feb. 21 at the Independence Stadium in Bakau, Gambia.