Ovoke admits loss of form


Last season, the man to be feared at Rivers United was Bernard Ovoke!

Blessed with a low centre of gravity, dare-devil dribbling skills, an eye for goal and the instincts and abiliy to change the course of any game on a sixpence, Ovoke wowed even fans of opposition clubs with football artistry at its very best.

Rivers United was severally written off by many bookmakers and branded relegation fodder last term but thanks, mainly to Ovoke’s influence, the ‘Pride of Rivers’ tore the form books to shreds and finished as runners-up in the NPFL behind a powerful Enugu Rangers side that sealed a first title triumph in 32 years!

Ovoke was the name on every lip as he finished as Rivers United’s top scorer.

He began the current season as he finished the last one; scoring his first goal of the season on match day two as United drew 1-1 with Akwa United in Uyo.

Ovoke was again flavour of the month; he could do no wrong as he promptly set a 20-goal target for himself.

Many expected him to attain the feat effortlessly but the wheels were to come off spectacularly.

An inexplicable loss of form followed and the dashing winger has added just one more league goal to his tally five months on.

We sat down with him to pick his brains on his seeming fall from grace to grass even as he vowed to rise like a Phoenix from the ashes of ignominy.

“I agree with the fans because I really haven’t played so well this season as compared how I played last season,” Ovoke told our official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng  

“I want to apologise to the fans and also to people who love my game. 

“I have been working hard in training every day because I want to return to the (level) that made me famous last season. 

“It is a good thing that Rivers United can still win, at least, two trophies this season and I will give my all to see us accomplish that.  

“Hopefully, I will give a good performance against Lobi Stars on Friday,” he said. 

Ovoke had declared earlier in the campaign that he will score 20 goals this season and believes the feat can be still be achieved. 

“Of course, I still believe I can score 20 goals this season. 

“We (Rivers United) still have 15 matches to play in the league and we are still in (the running for the) Caf Confederation Cup. 

“Don’t forget too, that the Federation Cup is yet to commence so I know I can achieve my target. 

“I have made some mistakes this season but I have decided to focus on my game and return to my best,” he said. 

Ovoke has scored four goals in all competitions for Rivers United this season.

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