The Rwandan striker explains why he feels they have to top Group A ahead of their clash with the Red Devils
Simba SC striker Meddie Kagere has urged the team to make sure they finish top of Group A in their Caf Champions League group stage campaign.
The Msimbazi giants are currently topping the group on seven points having won their first two games 1-0, against AS Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Al Ahly of Egypt, before securing a 0-0 draw against Al Merrikh in Sudan.
Ahead of their rematch against the Sudanese side at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on Tuesday, Kagere has told his teammates to make sure they get top position because it will come with several advantages.
“Our thirst is to make sure we finish at the top of the group and this will definitely give us a challenge against a not-so-tough team in the quarter-finals, which we will play after the group stage matches,” Kagere said as quoted by Sokalabongo.
“If we finish top in the first round, another advantage means we will be playing the first match of the quarter-finals away from home and after that, we will come to finish our second match at home.
“Basically we first need to get to the quarter-finals and then we will look at other targets after having something in our hand.
“In the way, I see our team as it is this season, despite the difficulties in various areas we ask fans and all Tanzanians to pray for us as we are able to qualify for the next stage.”
Kagere, who signed for Simba from Kenya’s Gor Mahia in the 2018 season, has also stressed the importance of winning all their home matches in the campaign.
“If you look at the situation in our group, you can say we have already qualified for the quarter-finals, but we have a lot of work to do,” Kagere continued.
“In the minds of many football fans in the country, they believe so [that we have already qualified] because we have two matches at home and the kind of results we have been getting at home gives them hope we will win our matches.
“So we need to realise if we are able to win our home matches and draw away from home then we stand a chance to progress, it gives us hope to win our matches and that is our target.
“We need to play with great care in those two matches, but make adequate preparations as a team and individual players so that whoever gets a chance to play can serve the team with dedication.
“But we have to protect the record of doing well in home matches not just by talking, but by going to work on the field and winning the matches.”
After playing Al Merrikh, Simba will have two matches remaining – against AS Vita at home and Al Ahly away.