Lobi Stars head coach Gbenga Ogunbote has toned down claims that his team are favorites to win the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title at the end of the season.
Ogunbote spoke to npfl.ng at the end of the Matchday 17 fixture which saw Lobi Stars defeating Nasarawa United 2-1, and said there can only be a clear favourite when every team has played the same number of matches.
“I think it’s to early to start labelling a team as favorites because we still have so many matches to play. We have not even reached the halfway line yet and we still have teams with outstanding matches including us.
“We can only begin to label a team title favorite when everyone is at par in terms of matches played,” Ogunbote told npfl.ng.
A long-range freekick from Chigozie Obasi and a tap in from Samad Kadiri in either half ensured that Lobi Stars returned to winning ways at home after the disappointing draw to Dakkada FC last weekend and Ogunbote believes his team will keep working hard to remain at the top for as long as possible.
The former Enyimba, Rangers, and Sunshine Stars coach believe they have to take the matches one at a time.
“We are going to take the matches one at a time, so far we are doing good and we will keep fighting hard to stay at the top,” Ogunbote said.
Over 3000 fans watched the regional derby on Sunday between Lobi Stars and Nasarawa United and Ogunbote praised the fans for their support and conduct throughout the match.
Ogunbote believes the fans are beginning to understand that there are no easy matches anymore and cheer the team to the end.
“The turnout today was massive, the biggest since I took over. Most importantly, the fans kept pushing and supporting us, they also saw that we were up against a very good side.
“They [the fans] are beginning to understand that there are no easy matches and that they have to get behind the team and keep pushing till the end. I urge them to keep coming out because we need their presence in the stands.”
Up next for Lobi Stars is an away trip to face Jigawa Golden Stars.