‘Yanga’ as the Tanzania champions are fondly called, enjoyed a five-day training camp in Turkey ahead of their trip to Algeria and Dutch born trainer Hans Van der Pluijm is convinced they are ready for the opening match of the pool stage.
“We had few days of training but I believe they are enough. Every player is adamant that we can get if not three points, at least we should not miss a point,” he said.
“We have played several North African teams and we know the way they play at home. They open spaces and attack, that’s good for us than playing a team which defends all the time,” added the Dutchman
Pluijm noted that Bejaia are a difficult side to play against, hence instructing his players to be resilient and patient to stay focused.
“They know how to play mind games so if you are not well prepared you may get several players suspended, so we have to approach them with caution. I have told each player that we only need to play our style,” he added.
The Tanzanians will miss the services of two key men in the defence, centre back and captain, Nadir Haroub ‘Cannavaro’ who is suspended as well as its left back, Juma Abdul who sustained an injury last week.
Meanwhile, newly registered pair Andrew Vincent and Hassan Kessy are expected to fill the void made up by the absent of the duo. Juma Mahadhi and Beno Kakolanya are among the new additions to the Yanga squad for the group stage.