NKANA NEEDS YOUR support – BESTON
NKANA coach Beston Chambeshi is calling on fans to fill Nkana Stadium on Saturday as his side hosts San Pedro FC in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup pre-group stage play-off.
Chambeshi has also told his players to win on Saturday to avoid bowing out away from home like they did in the Champions League at the hands of SC Simba of Tanzania when they won 2-1 at home but lost 3-1 in Dar-es-Salaam in the return match.
Nkana lost 4-3 on aggregate and were consequently relegated to the Confederation cup.
San Pedro FC coach Jani Tarek declared on arrival on Tuesday that he would be playing for a goalless draw which would play to his team’s advantage in the return leg in Abidjan next weekend.
In an interview after yesterday’s training session in a serene farmland ground in Kamfinsa area where the team has set base, Chambeshi urged fans around the country to put national pride first and ‘come and cheer’ the team.
“For sure it is not about Nkana, it is a national issue. They should come and support Nkana because this is the nation at stake here. So we just appeal to our supporters and to all those that love football to come and support the team,” Chambeshi said.
He said his players had learnt from the Simba encounter and would not repeat the mistakes.
“We just need to work hard and see to it that we kill the game at home…I think they [players] have learnt one or two things from the previous games we played. They are now ready for any battle, they know what to do and what we want to achieve. Sometimes in football you can say you have home advantage like this game. Even away against Simba we played well, it is only that we conceded easy goals. But otherwise we are playing the first leg… so we have to take it with that serious approach,” added Chambeshi.
Responding to Tarek’s remarks, Chambeshi said: “That is his own opinion but I believe the boys know what is ahead of us and that is why they have put a lot into training and I am happy with the endurance and the energy. They are looking forward to Saturday’s game.”
Meanwhile Tarek said: “We want to have a good game here. I think 0-0 will be a good result. We want to maintain Ivorian clubs’ record of never losing to Nkana but we know Nkana is a big team, it will be a difficult game.”
Like Nkana, Zesco United who also dropped to the CAF Confederation Cup after losing to TP Mazembe in the Champions League, face South African giants Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday.