Kwara gaffer rues playing away from home

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By Abiodun Adewale.

Kwara United coach, Kabiru Dogo, has identified the inability to play their home matches in Ilorin as the major cause of their struggles this season, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

The club are playing on their third adopted home ground this season, following renovation works at the Ilorin Township Stadium, which was necessitated by their qualification for the preliminary round of the CAF Confederation Cup.

Kwara, however, adopted the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos for the preliminary games before they chose the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan for the 2022/23 abridged Nigeria Professional Football League season and later moved to the Ondo State Sports Complex Akure for the second stanza of the season.

In four home games in Ibadan during the first stanza, the Harmony Boys won just one game, losing one and playing draws in the other two. The struggled continued in Akure, as they have lost two consecutive home games against 3SC and Enyimba.

The poor run leaves the club eighth in Group A with 13 points from 15 games – three points above the relegation zone.

Following their 3-1 defeat to Akwa United in Uyo on Monday, Dogo expressed satisfaction with the performance of the team but cited their home form as the major reason for their precarious situation.

“Not playing at home is our number one problem. The most important thing for us now is to manage and survive. It’s a tough league and not playing at home makes it more difficult. Look at other clubs in the same situation as well, Nasarawa United, Rangers, all big teams struggling due to not playing at home,” the coach said.

“I believe we will get it right, manage and finish well, then we can plan for another season,” Dogo added.
Dogo took charge of the Harmony Boys in February following the exit of Azeez Mohammed.

Meanwhile, Kwara United chairman, Kumbi Titiloye, disclosed that renovation work at the Kwara State Sports Complex in Ilorin has reached advanced state for the team to return home next season.

The chairman noted that the worn out artificial pitch has been replaced with grass, while works are ongoing on the dressing room and other facilities.