Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mokwena: Al Ahly only offers us six points

We’re now just a few days away from watching Mamelodi Sundowns go up against Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League.

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Following the narrow 1-0 win over Al-Hilal and the shock 0-0 draw with El-Merrikh last weekend in Cairo, the DStv Premiership champions have some tough champions league football on the way.

With the two Sudanese clubs in Group A as well as Al Ahly, Mokwena has warned against putting too much focus on Pitso Mosimane’s Egyptian giants.

“We’re completely aware it’s a very difficult group. We can never make that mistake of focusing all our attention on Al Ahly,” the co-coach said via the Sowetan.

“It’s a group where 12 points put you in a position to qualify as No 1. But the reality also is Al Ahly only offer you six points, and then you’ve got to fight for the other points from Al-Hilal and Al-Merrikh.

“You’ve got to give them the same respect in preparation and detail as you would Al Ahly. In fact, the other games against Merrikh and Hilal are probably more important.

“Everyone was disappointed when we only beat Al-Hilal 1-0. But when you see Al Ahly drew against Hilal, you realise how important it was to win that match.

“We cannot be sidetracked by playing the name and not the matches. We’ve got certain objectives and we know the first is to qualify from the group.”

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The former Orlando Pirates coach also touched on the way Mamelodi Sundowns have gone about their business in the DStv Premiership. The defending champions already look far gone and beyond the hills despite there being 19 games before the finish line in May.

“In SA, when we were 17 points ahead and saying we were still trying to improve people in our local media were saying we were diverting or being modest.

“But that is the reality, that we are never satisfied. Whether we win, lose or draw we have to keep improving. That’s the work we do regardless of domestic competition or the Champions League.

“There are certain targets we set and the ambitions of this club are far too great for us to relax and be content with where we are. We want to improve and get better, and that’s far more important than the rival [Ahly] that we face,” he concluded.

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