Simba of Tanzania face one of the African giants, TP Mazembe on Saturday in a Total CAF Champions League quarter final clash at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam with its trainer, Patrick Aussems acknowledge that it will be a historical fixture.
Simba reached the quarter final after they won all its home games in Group D despite losing badly away. Mazembe finished atop of group C with 11 points, losing only once in the six fixtures.
The Tanzania champions depend highly on 100% home winning record this season to snatch victory against the five times African Champions, TP Mazembe this Saturday.
Simba Belgium trainer, Patrick Aussems responds to cafonline questions in Dar es Salaam as follows.
Cafonline: You have good record at home, winning all five matches this season; Mazembe clash will make any difference?
Patrick Aussems: It is a good thing to have such record but beating Mbabane or Nkana is different to TP Mazembe. However we managed also to secure victory against our group favorites Al Ahly and AS Vita so we have good confidence ahead of the game. We had few days of preparation because of other domestic duties but we will keep that spirit and fight.
How do you rate this game comparing to the previous fixture?
This is very tough. We are talking of the team that has won several African cups in the past five years. TP Mazembe is a big team and we expect a tough game on Saturday. Even though this Mazembe may not be as strong as that of past few years but still they are the best comparing to Simba. We have two games against them and we will prepare well to see what we can do.
You won at home against AS Vita, a team from DRC too, is it a good experience before playing TP Mazembe?
Yes it is. These two teams come from same country and you shall expect similarities though not 100%. Their style of play is somehow similar but we need to agree that Vita is now history and we need to prepare for another tough game.
You lost badly away in the group phase, now it is knockout, shall we expect any difference?
It will be different this time. If you can see before the group stage we played well against Mbabane and won it away, also against Nkana though we lost. But when we reached the group stage, we changed the approach and focused much on home game. We understand that this time we need to play well at home and away, we are working on that.
You are in quarter final of the champion's league and still domestic league title favorites, how do you manage it?
It is very tough to make things happen. As you can see, we are playing a domestic league game on Wednesday then TP Mazembe on Saturday but we have no choice. Since the first day we set our target and we understand that it will not be easy. I make player rotations and I am happy now we have won 10 domestic games in a row and hopeful we make it 11 before facing TP Mazembe.