OFC Champions League Group D hosts Solomon Warriors are banking on home advantage to inject confidence in their campaign in the Oceania premier club competition.
The S-League champions will host fierce rivals Auckland City who knocked them out last season in the second round, AS Magenta of New Caledonia and Cook Islands Tupapa Maraerenga.
Solomon Warriors coach Moses Toata echoed that playing at home would give his players mixed feelings.
“We are all excited to play at home because it will give us some comfort, confidence but at the same time put some pressure on us,” he said.
“The home crowd is our 12 man on the pitch, but respecting our opponents is a must from the fans.
“The players know it will not be a walk in the park since the other three teams are here to compete.
“It’s a tough group which include former champions Auckland City, Melanesian neighbors AS Magenta who have been playing at Lawson Tama in the past and Tupapa a side with most Cook Islands national players in their ranks.”
The former Solomon Islands international stressed a positive start to the competition is the target for his team.
“In any tournament it’s always good to start with a win and our target is to win our two opening matches in order to put us in a better position for the quarterfinal spots.
“Preparation wise we are on track with our plans as the players are getting better each day we getting closer to the tournament.
“Our target this season is to go a step better than last season but the players must perform to get the job done despite playing at home.
“We have few more days to patch up everything before our opening match on Sunday,” Toata added.
Meanwhile, AS Magenta, Auckland City and Tupapa Maraerenga have arrived in Honiara ahead of the opening match day of Group D.
Group D opener will see nine time Oceania champions Auckland City taking on AS Magenta and Solomon Warriors play Tupapa Maraerenga on Sunday at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara, Solomon Islands.