Esperance assistant coach: Al Ahly experienced team, we target African glory
Esperance Sportive de Tunis assistant coach Mejdi Traoui has admitted Al Ahly is a very experienced side, but the Tunisian team did not set any special preparations ahead of the CAF Champions League final on Friday.
Esperance will be hosted on Friday evening by Al Ahly in the first leg of the African final showdown, before receiving the Red Devils on November 9 in Rades.
Al Ahly made their 12th Champions League final after overcoming Algeria’s ES Setif, while Esperance recovered a first leg deficit and defeated Primeiro de Agosto 4-3 on aggregate.
“Esperance is used to winning titles and playing for trophies, but things are always different when it comes to CAF Champions League which is always the primary objective for the entire Esperance family,” Traoui told Tunisian outlet Le Maghreb.
“Al Ahly are a veteran club and is very experienced in finals and their numbers prove that, the thing which will require us to deal with them cautiously especially on the mental aspect. Not only the Egyptian side is experienced but also Esperance possess the ritual of being able to play in the Champions League.”
“Our preparations were normal since we had no enough time due to the shortage of time between the games in the domestic league and the African competition. Al Ahly’s point of strengths and weaknesses are apparent to all who followed their route in the competition.”
“They [Al Ahly] have a quick attacking line that requires us to remain focused and not leave space, meanwhile their defense is one of their limitations and which we can exploit to score and play the return leg with no pressure.”
Traoui refused to use Esperance’s lack of defeat at Borg Al Arab stadium against Al Ahly as one of Esperance’s advantage in the tie, while admitting that their away results in the Champions League this season demonstrates their strength.
“Achieving several positive results away from home shows what the current group of players possess from experience and ability to play their chances. Our good record at Borg Al Arab stadium is only numbers that might have a partial effect on the players morale and give them more confidence but it’s not enough to allow us bring a positive result home.”
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