TUNISIA’s Club Athlétique Bizertin’s new coach Kbaier Mondher is worried about the little time he has had with the team ahead of the team’s CAF Champions League first round first leg tie against Dynamos at Stade 15 Octobre this afternoon.
BY ALBERT MARUFU IN BIZERTE, TUNISIA
The match, which will only be watched by no more than 3 000 fans, will be played at 4pm Zimbabwean time, in the resort town of Bizerte, which is almost 60 kilometres from the capital Tunis.
The coach, who was appointed on Tuesday following the sacking of Algerian Noureddine Saâdi, feels that he has not had enough time to prepare for this game.
“To prepare for a game of this magnitude in one week is near impossible. However, I know this team because I have coached this team before between 2001 and 2003. I have also played against them in the Tunisian league, as you know I was a coach for Etoile du Sahel,” he said.
He however, stressed the importance of beating Dynamos in the first leg which they start at home.
“I would have preferred playing away first but since we hope to win this competition, we have to beat the best teams and be able to get good results anywhere.
Dynamos is a big team and they are a very experienced side. Dynamos has qualified for the Group phase of the tournament before,” he said.
He also revealed that some players were nursing injuries while midfielder Kamel Zaiem lost his father during the week and could miss out on the match.
“We have injuries in the team, but we have enough players to feel the gaps,” he said.
On the other end, Dynamos coach Kalisto Pasuwa expressed doubt on the availability of midfielder Tawanda Muparati who is nursing a broken finger.
“So far so good in terms of preparations. We have had problems with regards to the type of food as some of the players shunned it but I told them to eat. The weather which is ranging between 11 to 21 degrees Celcius is also a cause for concern because some of the players were losing concentration at training. Tawanda’s chances of playing are 50-50 as we are depending on whether to risk him because he appears not uncomfortable in contact situation. Devon Chafa is also struggling with a groin injury,” he said.
He however, revealed that he had a number of options in Cliff Sekete, Tichaona Mabvura and Russel Madamombe who can cover both sides of the midfield.
“The last time we played against Esperance we lost it in the blind side so we just need someone who can play both sides of the midfield. In defence, we have been trying Augustine Mbara on centre back and he is likely to partner either Jaure or Gift Bello. We just have to be careful in the first 20 minutes of the game and not concede free kicks in our own half,” he said.
In goals, big George Chigova is a sure bet ahead of Artwell Mukandi who covered the goals in Lesotho.