St Michel out to frustrate How Mine

BULAWAYO – Visiting Seychelles football outfit St Michel has revealed that they will employ a defensive strategy against How Mine in today’s African Confederation Cup encounter set for Barbourfields Stadium.

The islanders’ technical director Brian Uranie told the Daily News during his team’s training session at the match venue yesterday that their target is to stop How Mine from getting any goals and then finish off the match when the two teams meet in a week’s time.

“This is not the first time for St Michel to come and play in Zimbabwe we have been to Bulawayo before and we know that the standard of football in Zimbabwe is quite high but we are looking forward to a positive result that will put us in a good position for the reverse fixture,” Uranie said.

“We know that the other team (How Mine) will come at us and put us under pressure but we will try and employ some good defensive qualities in our game so that we can maintain a clean sheet. It will be a bonus for us if we can get a goal.”

St Michel arrived in Zimbabwe on Thursday night and travelled from Harare to Bulawayo by road but Uranie said they would not let this affect their performance.

“It has been a very tough challenge as we have been travelling since yesterday (Thursday) but we came here to play football and we have to put this behind us and concentrate on the game,” he said.

Four players in the current St Michel squad, including veteran keeper Nelson Sopha who now doubles as the goalkeepers coach, have been to Zimbabwe before.

Sopha, who turns 40 later this year, kept goal when St Michel played against Highlanders in 2000 and enjoyed a lengthy career with his country’s national team.

They have also have seven players who have seen duty with the Seychelles senior national team while four of their players are expatriates with three of them coming from Madagascar and one from Uganda.

Meanwhile, How Mine will be without veteran defender Hebert Dick, who is suffering from flue, and winger Warren Dube, who suffered an injury at training on Thursday.

Chikurupati coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube, however, said the team still has enough arsenal to beat St Michel.

“It’s unfortunate that Dick is not well and Warren has an injury, but we are a team that has many players who are equally good,” he said. “We will have to make do with what we have and I am positive we will produce a positive result.”

Ncube added that moral is high in the Chikuripati camp and begged football fans to come in their numbers to support his team.

“As coaches we will do our part on the bench, players will do their part in the field and we are kindly asking supporters to be out 12th man and together we can conquer Africa,” said Beefy.

The How Mine coach reiterated that his charges will be out to score as many goals as possible so that it will be easy to avoid elimination even if they suffer defeat in the return leg.

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