The veteran tactician urges his players to step up a gear when they face the Egyptian giants at Nyayo Stadium
Tusker coach Robert Matano has called on his players to raise their game when they take on Zamalek in the second preliminary round of the Caf Champions League on Saturday.
The Brewers, who are making a comeback to the big stage after four years in the cold, qualified for the second round after eliminating AS Arta Solar 7 of Djibouti 4-1 on aggregate.
Tusker secured a 1-1 draw in the first meeting held in Djibouti before they registered a 3-0 win in the return meeting held at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi.
The FKF Premier League champions will come up against the Egyptian giants, who received a bye to the second round.
‘It is down to individuals now’
“This is the big stage and everyone has to raise his game. It is down to individuals now, the team comes after,” Matano said as quoted by Nation Sports.
“If players are not ready for the match, the team can’t be ready.”
Tusker midfielder Humprey Mieno is also confident they can get a positive result to take to Cairo for the return leg if they step up their game.
“We are working as a team and the morale is high among the players and we are fully focused and our concentration is on this game, which I know we can win if we raise our game.”
On Tuesday, Matano confirmed the return of some of his injured players among them Ibrahim Joshua, skipper Eugene Asike, Charles Momanyi, Teddy Osok, Deogratious Ojok, Hillary Wandera, and Clyde Senaji.
Zamalek are in Kenya
Zamalek have already arrived in Kenya in readiness for the match that will be played behind closed doors owing to the Covid-19 restrictions by the Kenyan government.
The last time Zamalek played in Kenya was in 2019 during the Confederation Cup when Gor Mahia beat them 4-2 but they recovered to win the second meeting in Cairo 4-0.
Zamalek squad; Goalkeepers; Mohamed Gabal, and Mohamed Awaad.
Defenders: Mahmoud Alaa, Mohammed Elwenesh, Hazem Emam, Abdallah Goma, Ahmed Fatoo, Ahmed Zaky, Hamza Mathlouthi, Mohammed Abdelshafy, and Habd Elmeged,
Midfielders: Tarek Hamed, Emam Ashour, Mohammed Abdelaziz, Mohamed Rouqa, Hamdy Alaa, Eslam Gaber, Youssef Obama, Ahmed Sayed, Mahmoud Abdelrazek Fadlallah, and Achraf Bencharki.
Strikers: Seif Jaziri, Saif Gaagar and Abdullah Nimar.