“We Will Not Underestimate Ethiopia”, Sudan Coach Mazda
Sudan hosts Ethiopia in the first leg final qualifier for Orange CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2013 this weekend. According to Mohamad ‘Mazda’ Abduallah, the head coach of Sudan national team Ethiopia has improved a lot in recent times and is an ambitious side and Sudan will bot be taking the visitors lightly.Ã‚Â MazdaÃ‚Â toldÃ‚Â Cafonline.comÃ‚Â that he is knows it will be a tough encounter but he is optimistic for a homeÃ‚Â win.
What do you make of match against Ethiopia?
Many believed that it is an easy encounter, but I will completely disregard this kind of talk, as the Ethiopia has improved a lot lately and have ambitionsÃ‚Â to qualifyÃ‚Â for South Africa 2013. They’ve been missing for many years from the finals. We will not underestimate them at all , they are leading their group’s in the African qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup. We are both fully aware that the two games will lead to the finals.
Ã‚Â What sort of game do you expect?
I expect a tough encounter where both sides will be making great effort to win. We will play with determination fighting spirit of course there will be some home pressure too but we will try to take advantage of playing at home before our fans.
How have your preparations been going considering your list included as most, players from three clubs participating in CAF Confederation Cup?
We have our players especially those from the three clubs Al-Hilal, Al-Merreikh and Ahly Shandy in great shape for playing. It has never happened in our football history before and now we are faced with a challenge, where these players are focused on playing in two major tournaments. So we are afraid that the players focus on their clubs’ matches more than the match against Ethiopia, what I mean here is they may believe that the Ethiopia match is much easier. Our players must know that they have a historic opportunity to play for the third time in the African Cup of Nations finals.
How are you going to get your players to focus on this game?
I talked to the players, and asked them to forget their games with their clubs locally and continentally. I asked them to focus on Saturday’s match against Ethiopia, because it represents the most important step toÃ‚Â qualifyfor the finals in South Africa. The most positive thing is that our players in a good form.
How do you rate Sudan’s chances of qualifying for the finals for the second time in a row?
The opportunities are 50% for each team. As long as they have reached this stafge of the competition we should not underestimate them but we are more experienced than the Ethiopian team.
What is the news from yourÃ‚Â medicalÃ‚Â team , do you have all your players available to play ?
We will not injured Aladdin Yussuf but we do have a replacement and as for the rest of the players we should be fine to field a strong team.
What result would you be happy to take away with you from this match?
I want to win, but at the same time I’m realistic coach. Firstly I want my team to avoid conceding while we get some goals to take a healthy lead to Addis for the return match next month.