Al Merreikh midfielder, Dayo Ojo, has said that he will have no feelings for his home country club, Rivers United, as he features for his Sudanese club against the Port Harcourt side this Sunday in the first leg of the first round of the CAF Champions League.
The former midfielder of Sunshine Stars of Akure in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) joined Al Merreikh last season after agreeing a four years contract.
Speaking with riversunited.com.ng ahead of the encounter, Ojo pointed out that there are no easy games in football and emphasised that Al Merreikh is not in Nigeria for a joke.
“We are not here for fun. We are here to play football. There are no easy games in football anymore and we hope we can get a positive result,” Ojo said.
Also in the Al Merreikh squad is former Dolphins of Port Harcourt striker, Kelechi Osuma who says he has fond memories with the Port Harcourt fans and feels very much at home playing against Rivers United.
“I have great memories of Port Harcourt and I am glad to be back to play against my former club even though they have now merged (with Sharks to form Rivers United).
“It will be a great game and we will see how it goes in the end.
He said his knowledge of the Port Harcourt football scene may not count much as a few things have changed.
“I didn’t really give tips (about Rivers United) to my coach because most of the players are new players,” Osunwa said.
Coaches of the two teams have also been speaking with the Al Merreikh Italian coach, Diego Garzitto, expressing optimism fir a win while Rivers’ Stanley Eguma is calling to the fans to turn out en masse to motivate the home side.
“We come here with the objective to win this match against Rivers United. We know that Rivers United is a good team but we will do all we can to win.
“I am only interested in getting a good performance from my players on Sunday irrespective of their nationalities. We will try to win (here) and finish off the job in Omdurman. We trust our team and we know we will produce a good match, Garzitto said.
Eguma says the players have assured him of their determination and commitment but pointed out that it is important for Rivers fans to provide great cheer for his boys to fire their confidence in the campaign.
“The players have assured that they will give their best on to make the fans happy,” he said.
“I have always clamoured for the fans to come to the Stadium to cheer the boys. The boys always do better when they see the fans cheering and giving them support.
“We got great support from the fans when we faced (Malian club), AS real Bamako (in the preliminary round) and the result was a resounding victory.”