Having returned to the top after win over the Chanji Boys, the midfielder tips the Pride of Benue for the coveted league crown
Lobi Stars’ Sunday Akleche says he is optimistic about his side’s prospect of winning the Nigeria Professional Football League title this season.
David Tyavkase’s 69th minute effort was all Solomon Ogbeide’s men needed to subdue Katsina United and return back to the top of Nigeria’s league table last Sunday.
The win was the Pride of Benue’s third in a row, having previously defeated Akwa United and Heartland as they opened a three-point gap atop to second-placed Kano Pillars.
And the delighted midfielder has credited their narrow win over Abdullahi Biffo’s men to the team’s resilience and ambition to retclaim the top spot of the league standings.
“We got a narrow win against Katsina United but it was a very important result for us,” Akleche told Goal.
“We knew beating them could take us to the top of the table and we really prepared well. It was a difficult game because Katsina came with a game plan to frustrate us and get a draw.
“But we fought hard to get the three points. I think we deserved to win the match. In the first half, we really played well but the goal did not just come because they defended well.
“I must admit we had some chances but couldn’t convert any of them. Our goal in the second half came at a very good time and we did our best to defend it till the end.”
On their impressive start this term, he attributed that to the team’s quality as he expresses high hopes in their character to mount a serious challenge for the league diadem.
“I am happy we are back on top of the table. That’s where we want to be and a great progress for us. We’re having a good start this season and we’ve worked hard to get to where we are now,” he continued.
“Everyone in the team is happy with the progress we are making but It has not been an easy journey. We have not had it this good in the past few seasons because we usually start a bit poorly.
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“But this season, we have a quality team with a lot of experienced and established players. The competition among us is very high and everyone wants to play,” he continued.
“The coaches are doing a good job and always strived to give us playing time based on our fitness and form. With our form, I am optimistic that this season would turn out to be our best.
“I think this season is a promising one for us and I believe that we can win the [Nigeria Professional Football League] title because we have all it takes and I think it is possible.”