As Lagos-based MFM FC visits Katina United for their Match Day 11 on Wednesday, its ace striker, Stephen Odey, says the team will use the match to sustain their winning streak.
The Olukoya Boys are currently fourth on the Nigeria Professional Football League’s (NPFL) log with 16 points.
Kastina United are 10th with 13 points after Match Day 10.
However, MFM currently has two outstanding matches because their opponents, Rivers United and Wikki Tourist are engaged in African Football (CAF) Champions League engagements.
The Church Boys will, however, test their might away against the newly promoted Kastina United for the Match Day 11 of the NPFL.
MFM has been firing from all cylinders since their start to the 2016/2017 NPFL campaign with emphatic home wins, including vital away points to put them in a vantage position.
The team has also been able to better the last season’s campaign with home wins over the league’s strong opponents such as Kano Pillars and Rangers International of Enugu.
The Fidelis Ilechukwu-tutored side defeated Kano Pillars 1-0 in the Match Day 5 fixtures as against 1-1 played at the soccer temple Agege Stadium last season.
The team also got the better of Rangers International in the Match Day 10 fixtures at home as against 1-1 played last season.
The Fidelis Ilechukwu side earned a point away against 3SC of Ibadan in the first South-West derby; after which they dispatched Sunshine Stars of Akure 1-0 in Akure.
Kastina United, on the other hand started their campaign in the league with some fair results in spite staying away for 15 years from the top flight league.
The Chandi boys were able to record 2-1 win over the league’s debutant Gombe United at home, then lost 0-2 away to Abia Warriors after which they won 1-0 at home against Nasarawa United.
The Baldwin Bazuaye-tutored side lost away to El Kanemi 0-1then played 1-1 at home to Akwa-United. The team also played 1-1 away to Niger Tornadoes in the Match Day 6.
Kastina United returned back to winning ways when they defeated FC IfeanyiUbah 1-0 in Kastina; then they held Lobi Stars 0-0 at home.
The team then played a pulsating 1-1 against 3SC of Ibadan after which they were defeated by Kano Pillars 0-1 in their last match.
Baring MFM’s early successful runs in mind, Odey said that victories recorded in the past might mean nothing if the team drops the tempo and are found wanting again at the end of the season.
“We just must sustain this tempo this time around. We must not drop our gauntlets yet. It’s one thing to start good early and it’s another thing to maintain the standard.
“I am not sure my teammates will like a repeat of last year’s experience when we have to fight to be out of relegation after we started good.
“One thing I have in mind is to better my performance this year. I have a personal target which I want to keep to probably winning the plaque as the highest goal scorer in the league.
“I should hit double figures this year by the grace of God and the help of my teammates,’’ he said.
In a pre-match briefing, Kastina United announced on Tuesday that the team would be without its influential winger, Tasiu Lawal when they face MFM in the midweek encounter.
The team confirmed on its website that Lawal was nursing an ankle injury which has ruled him out of the match.
“The right winger, who has played all 10 matches for Kastina this season, opened his team’s goal account on their return to the Nigeria top flight after 15 years against Gombe United.
“Lawal was forced out of Sunday’s 0-1 loss to Kano Pillars at the Sani Abacha Stadium following a challenge,’’ quoted by the website.
Fans can only but expect a thrilling encounter in Wednesday’s match where the home team will strive to take the three points at stake and the visitors will move to up their away winning record.