Nasarawa United is braced to redeem its image before its teeming fans when it hosts Sunshine Stars of Akure at the Lafia Township Stadium today, on Matchday 3 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The ‘Solid Miners’ lost on the opening day of the 2017/2018 league to champions Plateau United at home, before falling to Kano Pillars at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano and now find themselves taking the rear of the 20-team log, six points adrift of leaders Niger Tornadoes.
Coach Kabir Dogo’s charges reeling from the back-to-back losses would go all out against the visiting Sunshine Stars, in order to claim its first points of the season and move up, before things get tricky.
Speaking to npfl.ng, the club’s spokesperson, Musa Elayo, conceded that the club did feel taken aback by the two losses, but the spirit was far from dampened.
“Key players Abdulrahaman Bashir (to Enyimba), Adamu Hassan (to Pillars) and Olayinka (to Enyimba) left and we are back to building a new side, so, yes, maybe, it should have happened at some point, but, right now, we are concentrating on this game and looking to build something for now and the future. We want the fans to understand this, in spite of their frustration.”
Though the side has no injury worries presently, it would tinker its forward line to be productive against the visitors, who are waxing stronger with each game.
“Every player in the team is important and we will be utilising all of them to get the three points. This is what makes us different from other clubs and this is why we expect them to work and deliver the points as a team. But, we would be tweaking the front-line a bit, to make it easier for the team to win,” said Elayo, who would not give away much.
For Sunshine, they understand how tricky this can get; after an away draw to Heartland on Matchday 1 and a well-earned win over Katsina United in Akure.
“Having lost their first opening games; one at home to Plateau United and the other away to Pillars, we know Nasarawa United will do everything to get the three points on offer. They will not be push-overs. The same thing applies to us,” Chris Okunuwa, Sunshine’s Media Officer told npfl.ng.
However, unlike the home-side who would be counting on a complete team to prosecute tomorrow’s game, the visitors would be missing the services of their new Beninoise signing, Rock Durand.
A win for the visitors would see them garner seven points and move up into third place, if any of Pillars or Lobi lose draw or scores less number of goals, while a win for the home side would see them get off the base of the table.
Onukogu Kanayochuqu Jubal,
Num quam conficimus perfectas, sed semper melius (never perfect, but always better)