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CAF Champions League

Caf Champions League: Mosimane warns Al Ahly not to be careless against Mamelodi Sundowns

6:48 PM GMT 11/03/2022
Al Ahly coach Pisto Mosimane.
The Egyptian side will face the Tshwane giants after losing the first leg showdown in Cairo

Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane has admitted they are under pressure but must not be careless during their Caf Champions League match against Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.

The Egyptian side will be hosted at FNB Stadium, and the South African believes his side can overcome the pressure and go all the way and retain the African title.

"When you coach teams like Sundowns and Al Ahly, you are expected to win all the time," Mosimane said in his pre-match conference as per the club's website.

"That’s our lives as coaches. It’s normal, and we have to understand that. The pressure is big, we have pressure. We won the Champions League back to back and are expected to win it this year as well. We also believe that we can win.

"Sundowns are also under pressure as they will be trying to win the competition for the first time in seven years.

"We have to be very careful with tomorrow’s game. We must not be careless. We have to look at the target of tomorrow’s game.

"We want to qualify, and we want to win tomorrow to qualify. Winning tomorrow’s game will put us the same number of points as our opponents in the group."

The former Bafana Bafana coach also revisited their 1-0 defeat at home against the same opponents and talked about their preparations ahead of the return clash.

"As for the reasons for our defeat against Sundowns in the last match, a football game has many aspects to it. Sometimes you lose mentally, physically, or tactically," explained the tactician.

"We couldn’t get the ball at the back of the net. Their keeper made several impressive saves. However, in the end, football is about results.

"They scored and we didn’t. Last season in Pretoria, we didn’t have many chances to score, but we were able to find the net and achieved an important draw.

"Our preparations for the game haven’t been very easy. We played Al Merrikh SC and then Pyramids FC. We had to put everyone in the line-up to win against Pyramids because it is a top clash game and we had to win.

"We faced Al Merrikh and then the Pyramids, and then we travelled from Cairo to Aswan, and then we went to South Africa. However, that’s not an excuse, to be honest."

After signing a new deal, Mosimane gave examples of Sir Alex Ferguson – former Manchester United manager – and Arsene Wenger (formerly of Arsenal) as he talked about what is needed for long-term success.

"You need more than two years to have the players understand everything about you and for me to understand everything about the team," he added.

"Now I don’t have to say a lot of things because my captain and the senior players understand how I operate. However, it takes time to work on 'autopilot mode’ and to have synergy.

"In Al Ahly, I don’t have to teach the mentality of winning, just look at the logo and that will tell you. Yes, we need time to do that constantly and for the team to settle."

"For example, look at Guardiola with Manchester City, he spent five years and is yet to win the Champions League with them. [Sir Alex Ferguson] and [Arsene] Wenger needed time to achieve what they did with Manchester United and Arsenal, respectively."