Ahead of today’s CAF Confederation Cup second round, second leg clash against CS Sfaxien, stakeholders have charged players of Bayelsa United not to over respect the Tunisians.
The stakeholders said United players accorded the Tunisians too much respect in the first leg in Yenagoa, which allowed the visitors dominate play for all of 20 minutes of the first half of the encounter, allowing the Tunisians to pile ceaseless pressure on the home side.
Head of Sports, Niger Delta Television, George Ameli said victory was possible if the Nigerians do not accord the Tunisians too much respect. He said if Bayelsa United must qualify for the next round, substitutes that will be made must be players that will add value to the game.
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On his part, Chairman of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Bayelsa State Council, Datonye Fred Alambo said “I think Bayelsa United have what it takes to surmount the CS Sfaxien hurdle. They have the team, they function as a unit and have some talented footballers. The good thing going for them is that the players are not known much, and often underestimated.
“If they must win, they must go for the kill from the blast of the whistle. They must not have any respect for Sfaxien as they did for the first 20 minutes in Yenagoa. They need mental toughness and high concentration to make it. Early goals will unsettle the Tunisians”, he stated.
Loveday Herbert, Sports Editor of New Waves newspaper said subduing the Tunisians will be a tough hurdle because Sfaxien have experienced and established players, and they have the advantage of playing at home. He said the Tunisians utilise space and they have speed, so United players would have to checkmate the attacking forays of the North Africans and take them on the counter whenever the opportunity presents itself.
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He also advised that the Bayelsa United lads should be composed and play their usual game without allowing the Tunisians to intimidate them as the Sfaxien players did in Yenagoa.
Yenagoa-based sports administrator, Kali Gwegwe, who lauded the players, coaches, management and support staff of Bayelsa United for the home win, said with adequate preparation, seriousness and dedication on the part of the players, United could come out victorious.
Nigerdeltaconnect gathered that Bayelsa United players, who arrived Sfax on Thursday morning, underwent the mandatory PCR test to ascertain their Covid-19 status, before having a light workout ahead of their make-or-mar match on Saturday, October 24.
The players are said to be in high spirit and ready to go.