Lobi Stars midfielder Kelly Kester has exclusively told busybuddiesng.com that the ‘Pride of Benue’ are not under any form of pressure ahead of their CAF Champions League opening group game against Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.
Lobi face Sundowns – who won the competition in 2016 – on Friday, January 11, at their adopted home ground, the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu.
“We are preparing; it is like every other game,” the former Enyimba star said. “We prepare the way we prepare for every other game. We don’t put any special focus on them (Mamelodi Sundowns).
“There’s no tension; we just prepare like we prepare for every other normal game. [The spirit in camp] is normal. Everything is calm.”
Football followers in the country have expressed doubt over Lobi’s chances of excelling in the competition after Solomon Ogbeide’s men were selected to represent Nigeria in the competition following the abrupt end of the 2018 Nigeria Professional Football League season.
But Kester promised that the team will give their best to qualify from Group A, which also has former champions, Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and Ivorian giants, ASEC Mimosas.
“Even right from the Super Cup (against Rangers), we were not given a chance to qualify for the group stage,” the hard-tackling defensive midfielder said.
“So, we are just going to take each game as they come, and we are promising Nigerians that we are going to give
Kickoff for the match in Enugu is slated for 5 pm Nigerian time.