Blues ready for the battle

The Lautoka football side is ready to battle Rewa in the two-leg home-away match in the OFC Champions League playoffs this weekend,

Coach Anginesh Prasad they were preparing well for the battle.

“Preparation has been going very well, as we all know the importance of O League. We are representing our city, Lautoka, and we want to make our people proud.”

“The Champions League consists of only the best in each league in Oceania. To be playing in such competition in itself is an achievement we can be proud of,” said Prasad

“For players, it’s time to showcase their class and talent with the best in Oceania and a chance to be noticed abroad. So it’s definitely a step up from the domestic competition, with much more exposure and visibility to Lautoka FC and our partners.”

Prasad says their loss in the semifinals of the Digicel Fiji FACT was a wake-up call for the team.

“Certainly, different coaches have different approaches. We managed to get a formidable combination to play against a well-structured Rewa side who has been preparing for nearly 5 months.

“Rewa is a very structured and well-balanced side. They love to keep possession by building from the back to attract attackers to launch a quick attack by creating a numerical advantage. They are certainly not a boring team.”

“They are guided by their head coach Marika Rodu, who I think is currently the best coach in the country. I know he is very determined to qualify but so am I,” said Prasad

“We are ready for battle and we have no fear. We will attack them again and again. I think it’s more risky when you don’t risk it. Ultimately, fans coming to watch the game will enjoy two attacking teams going head-to-head.”

“Only one team will earn the right to qualify for the Champions League, and Lautoka will do everything to win.”

“We had a really young squad. Our youth players were given game time to expose themselves playing tournaments against local rivals just for the build-up to OFC.”

“They did a good job and at the same time it was an eye-opener experience for them.”

“We had the services of experienced players and it was also a wake-up call for them when we lost in the semis.”

“Just that we have to improve on our mistakes and that can be done with continuous training and lift our individual performances.”

He further added that although the Blues defeated Rewa by 1-0 in the FACT pool games, they are not going to underestimate them.

“So they were a tough team to beat in the Pool games and we are not saying that we can always beat them.”

“I’m sure they will come prepared so we are not going to underestimate them but we need to rectify our mistakes.”

“I think in that game, we could have scored more goals but Rewa had a strong defence and we just need to work on our weaknesses to counter them,” he said.

In the first play-off, Lautoka will host Rewa at 7 pm at Churchill Park this  Friday while the return leg will be hosted by Rewa on Sunday at 3pm at ANZ Stadium in Suva.

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