El Merreikh coach Luc Eymael is upbeat his charges can turn things around when they face 2014 winners ES Setif in the 1/8th round second leg on Tuesday, 19 April 2016 in the north-eastern Algeria city of Setif.
The Sudanese giants were held to a 2-2 draw in the first leg two weeks ago in Omdurman, a result which gives their host an edge. However, Belgium-born Eymael tells Cafonline.com their approach will be to score in the return encounter to boost their chances of reaching the lucrative mini-league stage. Below are excerpts of his interview ahead of the match;
Cafonline.com: What do you make of the 2-2 draw in the first leg?
Luc Eymael: We were not happy with that outcome. The individual mistakes were fatal. In the second half, we played very well, and the result could have been better, as a proof of our excellent second half performance. I commend the players for their performance in the wake of the difficult circumstances we were face with.
What were the problems that affected your play?
Individual mistakes! We started the game well. In the second half, we showed a character of a strong side; controlled the midfield and we were able to score two goals.
How will you approach the return leg?
ES Setif will be playing at home and it is important we stick to our style of play. We must avoid mistakes and try to score. Our plan will be to score a goal in the first half and force ES Setif to move out of their defensive zone. Also, we have to be efficient in attack and cautious at the back to avoid costly mistakes.
How have you been preparing for the game?
Our preparation for Tuesday's game has encountered some difficulties, as we have played three consecutive games during a period of only five days. This has resulted in fatigue and it is the first time for the coaches and players to deal with such an experience. We are also aware of the problems of our players off the field. I hope to see the players ready physically. I am not satisfied with the preparations, but I'm a professional coach and have made a maximum effort with my players technically and psychologically to be ready for the match. The Board of Directors is counting on us to qualify for the group stage, so we will strive to achieve it.