Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi has expressed one major concern ahead of the CAF Champions League group stages, which kick off next month.
Sundowns booked their spot in the round-robin phase of the competition for a sixth consecutive time and have been drawn into Group B alongside Al Hilal from Sudan, Algeria’s CR Belouizdad and five-time champions TP Mazembe from the DRC.
“It’s quite tricky. At this stage of the Champions League, you can expect anything, but one would have wanted to have a more direct flight, which is probably what we might not get because even Lubumbashi does not have a direct flight at this stage.
“But in terms of opponents, it’s a very tricky affair because Al Hilal at this stage, in my mind, is one team that is looking a little bit stronger. We have to tread very carefully and travelling to that side (Sudan) is not always the easiest. Let’s hope that when we play them at home we can get the maximum points.
“Mazembe is always a tricky affair. One would be a little bit fortunate because the supporters are not coming to the stadium because that environment can look very hostile for youngsters, but I believe we have what it takes to compete in that space. Belouizdad from Algeria is a new kid on the block. We have to tread very carefully and look at what they are offering. The only bad thing is that it’s never a direct trip. You have to go to Europe at times, or Dubai, and come back to Algeria. It’s always a strain on the team. We are hopeful we will be able to get it right.”