Al Ahly coach Marcel Koller says he is not worried by the club’s poor record visiting Tanzania, as he prepares his side to clash with Simba SC in the opening game of the inaugural Africa Football League (AFL) in Dar es Salaam.
Ahly have lost on both occasions they have played Simba in Dar, but they are keen to erase that record and pick a win in the first leg quarter final on Friday.
“I have been here for one year now and what happened in the past is history. We can not change that but what we can change is what happens tomorrow and in the future. We will do our best to take a good result from the match tomorrow (Friday) and we are looking forward to a good game and do our best to change the history,” Koller said.
The Swiss tactician was speaking on Thursday at the pre-match press conference in Dar es Salaam, with Ahly having arrived in the Tanzanian capital on Wednesday night.
Koller expects a tough duel against Simba, who will enjoy a buzzing 60,000 seater stadium home support, with the tickets already selling out quick.
The Swiss coach admits that Simba has shown its worth with their performances not just locally but on the continent, and believes they will give them a stern test in the AFL opener.
“We know we have a difficult team against us. Every team in Africa, when they play Ahly, they always double their efforts and have a lot of motivation to beat us. We will be fully concentrated and look to play a good game to win and make it easier for the second leg in Cairo,” he noted.
Koller has had barely a full two days to train with a full squad, as majority of his first team stars were out on international duty. He acknowledges that this will be a challenge to him, but reckons they can handle it.
“Most of these players have experience and so they will need maybe just one session to be okay. I would have loved more time, but it is the situation we have in our hands,” he noted.
At the same time, the coach says they will not come to Dar es Salaam to defend as they are away, but rather go all out in attack to not only win, but win with a big performance.
“That (defending) is not my philosophy. We must play. We don’t have to waste time or simulate injuries. I always speak with my players and I tell them that always, we must play. We also face the same problem when we play against other teams, but it is not what we want to do,” the coach opined.