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We won't let Esperance dictate play - Mosimane 08/07/04
SuperSport United face on of the giants of African football in an African Champion's League match this weekend and coach Pitso Mosimane is determined to show that his team can mix it up with the best the continent has to offer.

South African football needs to make it's mark on the African continent by challenging in the Champions League year in and year out and Pisto Mosimane's Supersport United are firing with all cylinders to have their brand of football earn respect on the mother continent - Esperance of Tunisia are warned.

SASoccer365's Francis Makoni spoke to Mosimane about his preparation ahead of this Sunday's huge clash.

"If one talks of African club football, Esperance is one of teams that springs to mind and my players are very much aware of that, but I have tried to say that name 'Esperance' at training as little as possible as I do not want them to become overawed," said 'Jingles'.

Mosimane and his Matsatsantsa i Pitori team are not leaving anything to chance in this Champions League match. They have reached the stage were former champions Orlando Pirates failed to get to, the money spinning group stage of this year's championship.

"I have watched Esperance play in Tunisia, and there is no denying that they are a great team, but that does not mean that we will let them dictate the game to us on Sunday," continued Mosimane.

"We will play our traditional passing game and the more we keep the ball away from them, the less the chances are for them to score," said Pitso, who is widely respected for the way his team plays.

"Esperance are the Real Madrid, the Man United of Africa and the name Esperance itself will tell you that it will not be an easy match," said Mosimane.

The widely travelled coach has only conceded one goal in six matches in the Champions League so far and he is looking to keep that record intact if his players can play the passing game that they are renowned for.

Supersport players can have more than 40 un-intercepted passes on their day and Bra Pitso is hoping that will be the case on Sunday.

"Watching Esperance play, I know that if we can have the ball, say, for the 40 percent of the match, then they will not have the chance to score in that time, the ball will be in our court and we can do what we want with it, that is to score," he said.

Mosimane also believes that with the support some of the club's in South Africa attract, we should be doing better in the continental showpiece.

He  was referring in particular to the support base of Chiefs and Pirates - which makes it ideal for them to play in the Champions League because when a team gets to where Supersport are, a full stadium when you are playing at home will definitely lift the standard of the home team.

"My brother, these two teams have the capacity to take South African football into Africa and the continent will stand up whenever a South African team is playing, but unfortunately Pirates did not follow their triumph in 1995 and somehow we disappeared from the African club soccer scene," he concluded.

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