Tusker psyched up for “big stage” football
- The Kenyan representatives qualified for this stage after defeating the Djiboutian side 4-1 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw away on September 11 and 3-0 triumph at the Nyayo National Stadium on September 18.
- Zamalek jetted in for the assignment on Tuesday night with the winner of the two-leg match qualifying for the group stage which comes with Sh55 million cash prize.
Tusker FC head coach Robert Matano has called on his players to shift their minds to “big stage football” as they prepare to host Egyptian giants Zamalek on Saturday in the CAF Champions League preliminary clash.
Matano acknowledges the local champions have a daunting task and that they must show resilience and character to cruise past the former champions, despite overcoming a star-studded Arta Solar 7 of Djibouti in the first preliminary round.
The Kenyan representatives qualified for this stage after defeating the Djiboutian side 4-1 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw away on September 11 and 3-0 triumph at the Nyayo National Stadium on September 18.
“This is a big stage and we must raise our game. Everybody must show character and it’s an individual responsibility because if you’re not ready as a player then it means the team is also not ready.
“We’re building up a good momentum now and the spirit is there and everybody knows what is expected from him and I’m sure we will win and qualify for the group stages,” said Matano, who last season led the Brewers to their first league title since 2016.
Zamalek jetted in for the assignment on Tuesday night with the winner of the two-leg match qualifying for the group stage which comes with Sh55 million cash prize.
Matano also believes they have utilised the two-week international break by fine-tuning their skills adding that all his players who were away for national team duties have returned, save for Rwanda goalkeeper Emery Mvuyekure.
The FKF-PL champions suffered a 1-0 defeat to struggling AFC Leopards in the opening match of the season with almost the entire first team out with injuries, but Matano is happy the break gave them a chance to recover.
“We’d many injuries before the break and now all those who were injured have now been given a clean bill of health. The break came at a good time. Also, the players who were away with Harambee Stars are back and the momentum is good,” he added.
Veteran midfielder Humphrey Mieno is optimistic their two-week uninterrupted rehearsals for Zamalek will pay off when the two sides clash.
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