CAF: Lobi Stars ready for Cote d’Ivoire’s ASEC Mimosas, says Coach Ogbeide

Solomon Ogbeide, the Technical Adviser of Lobi Stars Football Club of Makurdi on Friday said the team was well prepared for a “very tough’’ CAF Champions League encounter against ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire.

Ogbeide told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) ahead of their match day two encounter against ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire that it would indeed be a herculean task in Abidjan.

“We have been in a closed camp in Ijebu Ode since on Sunday, training very hard for the match in Abidjan and correcting the mistakes noticed in our first game against Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.

“As you are aware, there are no small teams in the group and we are still the underdogs because the other three teams, ASEC, Wydad and Sundowns are past winners of the CAF Champions League.

“We haven’t won anything yet but we can now build on the victory against Mamelodi Sundowns to focus on our next game against ASEC.

“We have a good spirit and remain positive going away to face our opponents and we are going to take the game to them in Abidjan,’’ he said.

On the performance of the team at home on match day one, Ogbeide noted that the match was executed without the full strength of his squad.

NAN reports that Lobi Stars defeated Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa 2-1 on match day one at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

“We played the first match against Sundowns without the full strength of the team.

“Three of our key players were unavailable. We did not have Sikiru Alimi, Samad Kadiri, and our skipper, Anthony Agbaji who had all travelled out for greener pastures.

“But we were still able to revolve our strategy around those that were available. I don’t care about players that are not around, I care about players that are with me.

“We won the match because we did something that was right,’’ he said.

He explained that his strategy involved revolving his team around good players, adding that he does not have a first team.

“As a player, you can play the last match and be very good and the next match you find yourself not playing. That is because I don’t have a first team.

“What I do is that I look at the opponent I want to play and the strategy I want to implore as well as the kind of players who can fit into my strategy and that is how I pick my team,’’ he said.

Lobi Stars are expected to take on ASEC Mimosas at the Stade Roberts Champroux in Abidjan on Saturday before their doubleheader fixture against Morocco’s Wydad Athletic Club Casablanca on Jan. 31 and Feb. 12 respectively.

Sundowns play hosts to Wydad in the other Group A fixture at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria also on Saturday.

Wydad top the group table with three points albeit with a superior goal difference over second placed Lobi Stars who are also on three points.

Mamelodi Sundowns and ASEC Mimosas with no points occupy the third and fourth positions respectively. (NAN)