Very few would have predicted Lobi Stars’ current run of seven games without defeat after that 3-1 pasting at the home of Plateau United on the opening day of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League season.
But the Makurdi club have confounded watchers of the league dusting themselves up from that defeat to embark on a run that has seen them win all their home games and take maximum points from Kano Pillars in Kano as well as a share of the spoils against Warri Wolves, FC Ifeanyi Ubah and Enyimba all away from home.
In fact, the loss to Plateau United was the last time Lobi’s backline was breached with the team embarking on a run of six consecutive clean sheets prior to Wednesday’s 1-1 draw in Aba against reigning champions Enyimba.
From despair after the opening weekend, the club now occupy the heady heights of third after eight games with a game in hand, three points off leaders Plateau United who have eighteen points.
And according to the man who has masterminded the fantastic run, head coach Gbenga Ogunbote, the players’ willingness to imbibe his winning mentality and graft on the field of play is the “magic” behind the club’s fantastic form.
“Hard work and the players were just ready to get it done,” Ogunbote who joined the club from Enugu Rangers ahead of this season said about how he managed to turn Lobi’s season around from the demoralising opening day defeat.
“The moment I get to a team, they should know that the players must work hard because my name is at stake, my integrity is at stake. And I give a mentality, which is of winning at all times. So when you get there I want you to believe in yourself that you can always get it done. And that’s just the magic,” the 2018 Aiteo Cup winning coach said.