BANTU coach James Madidilane says there is still lot of work for his charges to break the jinx and be the first club in the country to advance into the group stages of the CAF Champions League after a decade.
A Matšo Matebele welcome Botswana’s Township Rollers on Tuesday evening at Setsoto Stadium in the return fixture after they drew 1 all with the side in Gaborone on Tuesday.
Madidilane said advancing into the next stage of the competition is not going to be easy for his side but said his charges will need to be strong both mentally and physically.
“This is one of the toughest matches that we will be playing so the players need to be very decent because it’s coming with lot of pressure,” Madidilane said.
“We need to work hard on how to defend because in the first leg there we defended too deep and they kept pilling pressure on us but fortunately we didn’t concede.”
The former Bloemfontein Celtic defender said they went to Botswana as underdogs and their performance caught many people with surprise so they are aware that Rollers will this time come out guns blazing.
“They are desperate for goals and we are aware of that. They will be coming with their guns blazing so we need to be strong to absorb the pressure. We also have to work on the boys’ mental strength because we can’t afford any form of complacency. The fact that we drew away doesn’t make Rollers a poor team,” he said.
Madidilane said they want to ensure that they don’t concede at home and they can only do that if they deny Rollers space to take shots at goal.
“I have noticed that they like to take shots from range and fortunately our pitch here at home unlike theirs is smaller so we need to close them down and deny them that space.
“At the same time, we also need to ensure that we score goals to avoid putting ourselves under pressure so our approach need to be offensive. In the first leg we had few numbers in attack and that needs to change.”
While playing at home can be an advantage for Bantu, Madidilane said it can also work against them.
“Football is such a complex sport because playing at home can be an advantage and maybe scare off our opponents but at the same time it might affect our players because they get stage fright especially when there too many people in the stands which makes them lose focus concentrating more on the reaction of the supporters as was the case against Mbabane Swallows earlier this year. Some situations become scary for the players but we are the home side so we will have to control the situation and benefit from playing at home.
“But we need those supporters to come out in great numbers and be behind our boys in a positive manner,” Madidilane said.