Thabo Mngomeni: Orlando Pirates should not underestimate Caf Champions League Group B rivals

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The retired midfielder has backed the Buccaneers, who will be hoping to advance to the last eight

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Thabo Mngomeni is confident that the 1995 Caf Champions League winners can go all the way and clinch their second trophy.

The Buccaneers were drawn in Group B against Guinean side, AC Horoya, FC Platinum from Zimbabwe and Esperance of Tunisia.

“It won't be easy, to be honest, but Pirates are experienced when it comes to continental football. So, I believe that they will do well,” Mngomeni told Goal.

“The only thing I can say to them is not to undermine any opponent in the group because they will be shocked,” he added.

“I am happy they are back in the continent. Pirates are recognized as a big team in the continent. It is up to them because this is a perfect opportunity to reach the next stage,” he explained.

“To be honest it is not a tough draw because they have experience when it comes to travelling and playing away from home. They aware of hostile crowds and the coaching staff is also experienced,” noted the legend.

 “Winning the tournament will be good for the club because we are about to celebrate its 85th birthday – so they must do it in style,” continued Mngomeni.

“The players should be focused and be prepared to work hard, and follow the instructions from the technical team. I know one will say Zimbabwe is like home in terms of travelling, but they must not just relax because Platinum is not experienced in this tournament,” said the former Mthatha Bucks midfielder.

Having lifted their first Champions League title in 1995, Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns (clinched it in 2016) are the only Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs that have won the trophy.

“Yes, it is time to rewrite history, but they should not be under pressure. It is just a matter of grabbing their chance and use it well because playing in Africa has benefits in terms of exposure and bringing glory to the country,” he backed.

“It’s not a matter of having a new squad because that would be like coming with excuses. My point is that the guys must remain consistent as a team and as individuals,” he reacted.

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“The fact that one plays for Pirates means you have quality enough to be a top player,” he concluded.

 

 

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