MONOMOTAPA coach Rodwell Dhlakama says the teamâ€™s poor performance in the premier league will not affect their crucial encounter against Asec Mimosas of the Ivory Coast on Sunday.
The Zimbabwean champions, who have so far put up lacklustre performances in their bid to defend their title in the domestic leagueÂ â€” only winning one out of four matches â€” are not expected to be too confident ahead of Sundayâ€™s crucial encounter.Â
Monomotapa trail Asec Mimosas 1-0 from the first leg that was played in Abidjan a fortnight ago.
Dhlakama said that the teamâ€™s performance in the league should not be used to measure their chances in the Champions league.
Â â€œI always tell my charges that a game is an event and not a process and so we should take each game as it comes.â€
â€œWe are in the same situation as we were when we played Ajax Cape Town,â€ the coach said. â€œThe only thing we need is an early equaliser so that we can start fighting on the same level.â€
Dhlakama is confident the team is in aÂ better position to face AsecÂ than in the first leg.
â€œWe had never played in a West African environment before, not forgetting it was our first time playing the Ivorian giants.â€
Monos face a tough test in their bid to follow in the footsteps of last yearâ€™s representatives Dynamos who bowed out of the tournament in the semiâ€“finals, as Asec Mimosas are now a permanent feature of the tournament, which they won it once after beating Dynamos in the 1998 final.
Monomotapa on the other hand are playing in the tournament for the first time after winning their first league cup last season.
If Monomotapa win on Sunday they will progress to the mini league stage of the tournament.
The Ivorians are expected in the country today.
BY KUDZAYI TIGERE