Supersport United Assistant Coach, Kaitano Tembo believes they match TP Mazembe for quality and Tuesday evening’s Total CAF Confederation Cup clash against the reigning champions will be tough for both sides.
Tembo was speaking at the club’s training session on the eve of their Group D encounter with the DR Congo giants, billed for the Lucas Moripe Stadium in South African capital, Pretoria.
The group is without a doubt the most tightly contested with Supersport, Mazembe and Horoya of Guinea all tied on five points after three matches while Gabonese representatives, CF Mounana are rooted at the bottom of the table with no point.
Matsatsantsa as Supersport are nicknamed appear confident going into the clash with their heads held high after rescuing a point from the holders away in Lubumbashi two weeks ago, where they came back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw.
However, Tembo has cautioned his players about the danger of a side like Mazembe, warning that a home match doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a walk in the park.
We all know who we are playing against. They are the title holders and have a wealth of experience playing in Africa. They know how to win and know how to do so away from home so we cannot afford to relax because it is a home game, Tembo warned.
A Zimbabwean international during his playing days, Tembo at the same time believes the senior players in his team can step up and match up against Mazembe’s veteran players like Tresor Mputu and captain Rainford Kalaba, who have over the years made a mark on African football.
They have star players but we have senior players who will have to step up on Tuesday. The likes of Dean Furman, Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Thuso Phala certainly have what it takes to hold their own against any team on the continent, the Assistant trainer added.
Supersport have a serious balancing act to pull with another fixture coming up against Orlando Pirates in the domestic cup final to secure a place in next year’s second-tier continental club championship.
However, Tembo has rubbished any speculation of the club resting some key players for next week’s final.
We all know that winning the Nedbank Cup final assures us of a place in the next CAF Confederation Cup but we are fully focused on what is at stake here and that is our current performance in the CAF Confederation Cup. We cannot worry about next season’s edition because we need to do well now, said Tembo.
Meanwhile, Horoya of Guinea will battle it out with Mounana in the other Group D match also on Tuesday in Conkary.
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF)