Rivers United Football Club’s winger, Bernard Ovoke, has backed his side to turn things around as the new season progresses.
The club will meet Tornadoes in the Match Day Nine encounter of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), slated for the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
It has been a slow start for United, who need to advance in good time. But Ovoke is sure that the team will start delivering the expected results soon.
“As you may be aware, some players left the club, while new arrived. However, the squad is getting better as the team continues to blend. The return of Emeka Atuloma and Emeka Ogbugh, who featured in the 2018 CHAN is also good for us. Sunday (today’s) outing against Niger Tornadoes will confirm our renewed determination,” Ovoke said.
Ovoke was one of the outstanding performers for Rivers United last term, and the host, which occupies the 14th position on the log, with 10 points after eight games, hopes to maintain its impressive home record today against Tornadoes.
The team has never lost at home since the revamping of the club two seasons ago.
Niger Tornadoes has equally expressed confidence in their ability to come out tops after a moral-boosting 1-0 home win over the Solid Miners, in Lokoja, last weekend, which was after a disappointing home defeat to FC Ifeanyi Ubah.
Lukas Yahaya’s return to the squad will be helpful, after he missed some matches since the start of the season.
Erasmus Onu, who is masterminding Tornadoes’ resurgence knows that the remaining matches in the NPFL are very crucial.
Tornadoes’ utility defender, Reuben Ogbonnaya, is hopeful that the team will get a good result today.
“We’ll try our best to maintain our form this season, and maintaining the premier league is our main priority. We were able to get our game right last Sunday against Nasarawa United. We know that Rivers United is not a pushover, but we are in high spirit ahead of this encounter.
“It is important for us because we need points to be the first of the last. We need to try and remain in the elite league, so, we need to keep our game high because this time around we cannot afford any drop-off points both at home and away,” he stated.
Defensive midfielder, Nosiru Afees Babatunde, who joined the Ikon Allah boys from the Nigeria National League side, Kaduna United, before the season kicked off said, “We are on course to maintain our status in the elite division this season.
“Rivers United is a good side no doubt about that, but we will take the game to them right in their backyard. The officiating this season has been impressive. I want to say kudos to the match officials so far,” said Bashir Usman, who has been in blistering form this season.