Mamelodi Sundowns' Thabo Nthethe gears up for Champions League tie with Zesco after MTN8 win
Posted: 22 September 2016 Time: 15:31
Thabo Nthethe has highlighted just how important this week has been for Mamelodi Sundowns' players as they seek to accomplish the rare achievement of reaching two finals within four days.
Sundowns last night negotiated their way into the final of the MTN8 with a victory over Chippa United, and will on Saturday be out to also reach the decider of the CAF Champions League when they welcome
It is not so often that a South African club sets itself up for this kind of challenge – rather opportunity which raises the anticipation levels through the roof in the dressing room.
“We have been making each other aware about how important this week is going to be,” acknowledges Nthethe.
“This is a very important week because it is the week that will determine our future so we want to give it our all. We really wanted to win last night’s game (against Chippa United) and knowing going forward we would be playing against Zesco in a semi-final that if we win we will be going to the final we also want to do the same.
“So we have been motivating ourselves as players and talking as players about the need to be focused, especially in this vital week in which we are playing two semi-finals and the last one on Saturday is a big one. We all want to have that one and all we need to do is win against Zesco to reach the final. The guys are managing that process very well,” explains the experienced central defender.
“What happened last night against Chippa United is what we wanted because we knew that it would give us the confidence to play against Zesco on Saturday. We knew that the camp is going to be in good spirits if we win as we also want to reach the final of the Champions League,” he adds.
Nthethe notes that though they have an away goal following their 1-2 defeat in Ndola they are still aware that they will have to move mountains to get past Team Ya Ziko.
“Honestly, I don’t think it is going to be easy for us to win that game because knowing how Zesco play they have the confidence. Coming here I think they will defend and make sure that we don’t score. We want to score an early goal so that it can be an open game but we really have to take the game to them since we are playing at home. We just have to do our best and make sure that we don’t concede as that will be the worst thing that we will face. We just have to make sure that we don’t concede at all but score,” he says.