Banjul Hawks have arrived in Uyo ahead of their Confederation Cup playoff against Akwa United on Sunday.
The Gambian club will go into the game hoping to continue their recent good run, which has seen them pick up seven points from their last three league games.
Hosts Akwa United, who occupy the Nigeria Premier League top spot, renew their attempt to book a place in the group stage for the first time, having failed at the first hurdle in 2016.
The Uyo side began their first continental campaign with a playoff tie against Vita Club de Mokanda on a good note, winning 1-0 at in Congo through Ubong Ekpai’s strike but conceded a second-half goal in Uyo, which put aggregate score at 1-1, before losing through penalties.
Hawks lie eighth in the 12-team league. They began their domestic league campaign poorly but have since turned things around, winning two of their last three games.
Head Coach of Hawks, Amsumana Fatty, believes his side’s poor start to the Gambia Football League will not have a negative impact on their performance on Sunday.
He said: “Nigeria is a footballing country and Akwa United is a big club. They are top of their league, so we respect them. But we are looking forward to the match on Sunday knowing that it will be a game played between 11 players and at the end let the best team win.
“The Gambian league and the Nigerian league are not the same. We started poorly in the league but we are gradually picking up. But we are here for the CAF Confederation Cup and it’s a different competition altogether. We have been preparing in the past two months so we are ready for Akwa United.”
Hawks’ captain, Omar Sarr, revealed that the Banjul club have been following Akwa, saying his side would put up a good performance.
“Since after the draws, we have heard a lot about Akwa United and we know that they are a good side. We have watched their videos online and they are playing almost the same pattern we play, so it will be an exciting match and we are ready to give them a good fight,” Sarr said.