Pirates have jetted out to Bulawayo, where they are set to lock horns with the Platinum Boys of Zvishavane in their opening Group B encounter at the Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday.
Pirates have enjoyed a good run of form of late, as shown by their position in the Absa Premiership title race as well as their progression beyond the opening rounds of the continental competition.
However, The Buccaneers are mindful that nothing has been achieved yet, especially following their TKO cup final defeat last month, and as such Sredojevic has targeted a strong start to the group campaign, before tests against Guinea’s Horoya and defending champions Esperance still ahead.
The Serbian though, feels it necessary for them to show respect towards their opponents, who have qualified to the competition’s the group stages for the first time in their history.
“I have the highest degree of respect for Zimbabwean football. Over the last 18 years [of working in Africa], I have met several times – and maybe it’s the reason I’m here – some Zimbabwean players who have really played an important role when I have competed for the Champions League at Al Hilal – Edward Sadomba and the likes,” said Sredojevic.
“With that in mind, that sort of respect is what we need to inject into our team, fully aware that we are playing against the champions of Zimbabwe that is coached by a very good coach, one which had a wonderful playing career and also coaching career Norman Mapeza.
“A team that, as Kuda [Mahachi] has explained, plays very good football with good teamwork in defending and as well as very dangerous in going forward.
“So, all those are things we need to touch on to kickstart our group stage in the best possible way with a good performance and result in Bulawayo.”
Kick-off on Saturday is scheduled for 15h00, with the match set to be broadcasted live on SuperSport TV.