DAR ES SALAAM: SIMBA head coach Abdelhak Benchikha has urged his players to be strong and keep focus throughout their CAF Champions League match against Wydad Casablanca at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam today.
The do or die match is the fourth fixture for both teams in their Group B of the contest with each side salivating to get a maximum of three points to confidently keep moving forward with two games to play.
At a press briefing yesterday in Dar es Salaam, the Tunisian tactician Benchikha reiterated that it is a very important match to them as they eye for nothing less than a triumph to revamp chances of going beyond the group stage.
“We have to be strong and concentrate…I have confidence in my players that they will make effort to win the match for our fans, Wydad Casablanca is a good team, and we played against them in Morocco where we performed well though we did not win.
“But, tomorrow (today) is a different game as they have a new coach, he is my friend, he is a good coach…but our friendship will be put aside as we will be fighting for the victory,” Benchikha said.
He added: “We will miss two midfielders (not named) for this decisive game, but all other players are in good health ready to fight for convincing results for their fans.”
On his part, Simba’s vice skipper Mohamed Hussein also cemented that based on the preparations they have had before the match, he is optimistic to get good results.
“Of course, the game will be difficult but for us players, we are set to approach it as a finale in the sense that so far, we are at the bottom of our group meaning that the only way to rekindle our hopes of reaching in the quarter-finals, we should win tomorrow (today),” he said.
For Wydad Casablanca, their newly hired coach Faouzi Benzarti forecasted it as a complicated match which it difficult to predict the outcome of the game.
“We are 90 percent ready to compete and though I have been with the team for five days, we are fully prepared to do well and get positive results but it is a difficult match,” he said.
His player Moutie Yousse insisted that they know very well about Simba as this is not the first time the duo is meeting in a competitive match but, he said, their full focus is on this encounter.
Asked if the brief stay of the new coach with the team can have an impact on today’s match, he replied: “We are professional players and we know what to do.”
As it stands in group B, ASEC Mimosas occupies the top spot with 7 points seconded by Jwaneng Galaxy with 4 points while Wydad Casablanca is third courtesy of 3 points while Simba sits at the bottom with 2 points.