Soccer News of Friday, 15 March 2013
Source: Kotoko Express
Kotoko coach Masud Didi Dramani has dispelled fears that Kotoko could be intimidated in today’s CAF Champions League qualifier against Algerian side Jeuness Sportive Madinet de Bejaia.
The Algerian club have adopted several antics to frustrate the Ghanaian club ahead of Friday’s game which has sparked fears of cheating against the Porcupine Warriors.
Contrary to FIFA regulations Kotoko were put on a bus from Algiers to Bajaia which is more than the 200km meaning they should have been put on an aircraft on the journey that took four hours by bus.
The Ghanaians were also housed in a shoddy hotel while the constant change in the kick-off time are some of the tricks the Algerians have adopted to outwit the Porcupine Warriors.
The Kotoko trainer said his team has the right mental attitude insisting that no amount of rough tactics adopted by their opponents will quench their desire to go all out in today’s tough duel.
“At this level, we cannot be intimidated. We know how to play against the odds. In away matches you do things that favour you, not the things that will be to your disadvantage” said the Kotoko coach.
“In Equatorial Guinea, we had the right attitude and in Algeria, it will not be different. Nobody can intimidate us,” he said.
The fabulous lads reached the 1/16th stage of the competition after eliminating Equatorial Guinea’s Sony Nguema who they routed 7-0 in Kumasi before finishing off their excellent work with a 1-0 victory in Malabo.
The Porcupines are therefore looking forward to overpower JSM Bajaia in the first leg encounter at the Stade de l’Unite Maghrebine to put their dream on course.
The Porcupines left the shores of Ghana on Monday and have since been preparing feverishly for the all-important game.
Kotoko fans and pundits have been expressing varying views on the match with the consensus being that as it is typical of most North African clubs, the relatively unknown JSM Bajaia could give Kotoko real difficulties in their backyard.
But Coach Dramani rejected that notion. He argued that his players are not bothered by the pre-match commentaries but are fully aware that their supporters expect nothing apart from a result that will see them advancing to the next stage after the second leg has been played.
Coach Dramani made it clear that Kotoko have their eyes firmly fixed on eliminating JSM Bajaia.
“We cannot put everything we have done in the public domain. We have done a lot. We have the right choice of players. We will adopt the right approach and secure a good result” he said. He added that with their preparatory matches going well, there was nothing to fear.
“Every previous game is preparation for the next game. We used the FA Cup match to assess our readiness. We have a positive approach. That approach will lead us into the game,” he said.