HARARE - Harare City coach Taurai Mangwiro says his side needs a healthy first leg victory against AS Adema of Madagascar in this afternoon’s African Confederation Cup preliminary round tie at Rufaro Stadium.
The match kicks-off at 2pm.
Mangwiro’s men have been preparing for their continental football debut for over a month and they concluded their pre-season with a 2-0 win against newly-promoted side Bulawayo City last weekend.
And speaking at a press conference yesterday ahead this afternoon’s clash, Mangwiro said: “We have had a five-week training programme that involved four important aspects of the game. We focused on fitness, the mental aspect, physical and tactical.
“I must say we are satisfied with our progress. We have covered a lot of ground. We don’t have any excuses. Our new players seem to have adapted well into the system and we can only hope with time they will improve.
“We don’t have any problems thus far. We are heading into the right direction. It’s one of those situations where you are preparing for match and you have little knowledge about your opponents. But playing at home I think AS Adema should be more worried about how we play.”
With the second leg scheduled for next weekend in Antananarivo, Mangwiro said there is no need for the Sunshine Boys to completely throw caution to the wind as they seek an emphatic first leg lead.
“We have put emphasis on us imposing our game on them and if we can do that the better for us. I would also want to think in the second leg we would have an insight on how they play,” he said.
“I would be more comfortable if we have the job as good as done going into the second leg. We don’t want to give ourselves a mountain to climb and if anything let’s carry the form which gave us the opportunity to play in Africa.
“We need to score more goals at home before the second leg. I just want us to do well so that we will not be under pressure in the second leg. I would want to see the team score as many goals but I would be more than delighted if the team manages to keep the clean sheet.
“I don’t want us to be careless going forward. I know expectations are very high seeing us massacre AS Adema but we would want to be very cautious and not giving anything away easily at the back.
“We would want to see the team being offensive but it is the transition that we need to manage when the ball changes hands. And if we can handle that the better for us because I would like to see the team improves on the conversion rate.”
The spotlight will be on City’s new signings Ronald Chitiyo and Raphael Manuvire, who arrived from Dynamos and ZPC Kariba respectively.
Another new signing Farai Madhanaga is also expected to shine after a decent showing for the Warriors at the just-ended 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan) finals in Rwanda.
Harare City match-day squad: Maxwell Nyamupanedengu, Tatenda Munditi, Blessing Moyo, Themba Ndlovu, Arnold Chivheya, Farai Madhanaga, James Jam, William Manondo, Raphael Manuvire, Ronald Chitiyo, Kuda Kumwala, Francesco Zekumbawire, Munya Diro-Nyenye, Tendai Samanja, Chrispen Dickson, Benson Maglasi, Tanaka Ruzvidzo, Martin Vengesayi.