We have to be realistic, says St. George coach Michael Kruger

Michael KrugerEthiopian club side, St. George will face the Tunisian side CS Sfaxien in their third Group A match of the Orange CAF Confederation Cup that will take place at the Addis Ababa stadium on Sunday. St. George’s German head coach Michel Kruger sounded a cautious tone in a pre-match interview with Cafonline.com ahead of the match against CS Sfaxien.

Cafonline.com: You are currently preparing in Nazareth that is hot and dry while Addis Ababa is rainy and cold. The match against CS Sfaxien will take place in Addis Ababa. Is it a good choice?

Michael Kruger: We have no other choice than Nazareth. Due to the heavy rain in Addis Ababa there is no pitch for training. That is why we are in Nazareth.

Cafonline.com: How are the preparations going for Sunday?

Michael Kruger:  Given the circumstances we have done what is expected from us. We are mentally and physically ready for the Sunday’s big challenge. We are out to prove that and we are still a force in the group at this level. We lost three points when we were defeated 2-1 by Etoile Du Sahel in our second away match but we haven’t lost our will to win.

Cafonline.com: What is the situation with injuries in your camp?

Michael Kruger: Yes we have some . Defender Alula Girma has a sustained injury. Due to the muscle problem striker Oumed Ukury may not be in the line-up. I hope Oumed will get a quick  recovery. In addition to this, experienced defenders Degu Debebe and Abebaw Butako will not play due to the suspension. The good news is that Biadglign Elias has fully recovered and ready for the next match.

Cafonline.com: With these circumstance what are your expectations for Sunday’s match?

Michael Kruger: It will be a very difficult match for us. We are facing the best team in our group. CS Sfaxien side are now on top of Group A after collecting the full 6 points from two games, first beating Etoile Du Sahel 1-0  and in the second away match they beat Stade Malien 2-1. What I can say is that we will try our best and fight for 90 minutes to get the 3 points we badly need.

Cafonline.com: But St. George has had good record at home this season.

Michael Kruger: I know that we had good results in the past. It is possible to repeat that feat on Sunday. Don’t forget that this is our first time to reach the group stage which is at the same time our target. But we have to be realistic. This is a learning process for us and no one expects us to go in to the semi-final stage. To be realistic, the challenge will be tough on Sunday.

Cafonline.com: What do you expect from the match against CS Sfaxien?

Michael Kruger: We had a very disappointing result against Etoile Du Sahel. We conceded defeat due to the mistake by one of our players. We learnt that lesson. With careful play we expect a win. So far we are second in Group A with one goal difference. (St. George and and Etoile du Sahel have equal three points.)

Cafonline.com: Do you think you have achieved a lot in the continental competitions this season?

Michael Kruger: As I see it, our achievement is just showing the good picture of the Ethiopian football in the continent. But we have plenty of ambitions  our ambitions are on the rise to achieve better than before. As a team we have made history by reaching this stage. Without doubt, getting a ticket to advance in to the semi-final is a big bonus for the country’s football. Personally I am happy that our attempts and achievements were good. Other than Sunday, we have three more matches in the group stage this season so we will try to make further progress.


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