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Benni Previews Downs Clash

Benni McCarthy says that AmaZulu are looking to bounce back from their MTN8 defeat against Cape Town City when they face DStv Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns in their league opener on Friday.

But the AmaZulu coach is under no illusions, and knows it will be a very tough game, especially playing away against a powerful Sundowns team.

But the former Bafana Bafana striker says that this week’s preparations have gone a lot better than previous weeks, and while it is a difficult opening game, he says if you want to succeed, you have to be up for the big challenges.

“I think in football, you have to play the best in the business – whether it’s your first game, or your last game or your middle game – to do well you have to play all the tough ones and unfortunately for us the team that won the league, and we finished second, we play our opening match against each other,” McCarthy told the club’s media department.

“I think we had a decent preparation now. We had far less interruptions and the players that came back from injuries and from self isolating, they’ve all been integrating with the team. So it was just trying to get them all up to speed in terms of fitness levels and that, but it’s been much better preparation this last few days since the MTN8 game versus Cape Town City.

“So, we need to bounce back from our defeat against City that we had over the weekend. Listen, there’s some good qualities, and the boys look really psyched, they look really up for the challenge.”

McCarthy, though, was upbeat about his team’s preparations ahead of their PSL opener, saying they are ready to challenge the defending champions.

“And we know, it’s gonna be an interesting, very difficult encounter, a difficult match, because Sundowns, like I said, they were champions last season, so they didn’t lose that much of their championship team, they’ve only added more quality players to their team. So we know the task at hand is very tough, but we don’t shy away from that, we just prepare ourselves, best way we possibly can,” he added.

“And then hope that the players will be up for the fight and they’ll be up for it. And we know the difficulties, not having the ball, playing away from home. So we’re gonna have to work extremely hard. But that’s football, in life everything you want, you want to achieve, you have to work hard for it.

“And playing against Sundowns is no different. We’re working hard, we want to work hard, but we also gonna to try and just make life uncomfortable for them. So we’re hoping for the best possible outcome of this game, it’s never easy playing the champions but we’re optimistic and we think we can have some some joy and we can have some success but we will see come Friday, and how ready and how well prepared we will be for them.

“But overall, up until now I’m very satisfied and very happy with what the boys have given me. They’ve worked well and hopefully they can put all their hard work that they’ve done on the training pitch, they can put it all into perspective, into the match day, come Friday.”