Nasreddine Nabi: TP Mazembe win gives us confidence

21Feb 2023
Michael Mwebe
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Nasreddine Nabi: TP Mazembe win gives us confidence

TANZANIA’s Young Africans SC head coach Nasreddine Nabi believes their 2022/23 CAF Confederation Cup win over DR Congo’s TP Mazembe in Dar es Salaam last weekend will give them the confidence and belief needed to qualify for the quarterfinals.

Yanga's head coach, Nasreddine Nabi. PHOTO: COURTESY OF YANGA

Nabi’s charges, who started their campaign with a 2-0 defeat away to Tunisia’s US Monastir, earned a convincing 3-1 win against TP Mazembe with goals netted by Kennedy Musonda, Mudathir Yahya, and Tuisila Kisinda to stay third in Group D.

A relieved Nabi poured out his emotion during the post-game interview, explaining how he was hurt by criticism following the opening-day loss that his outfit, alias Yanga, conceded in Tunisia and what this bounce-back victory means to the team.

The Tunisian-born coach revealed: “I'm very happy about this victory. I congratulate my players because they were responsive unlike the last game, there were a lot of spirits, there was attitude, there was concentration and the will against the big team of TP Mazembe.”

The gaffer said: “I would say to my little brother Pamphile Mihayo, it's football. He's a great coach too, he's been my little brother since I was at DC Motema Pembe.”

“And if this result plus results of the first day show something, it is that this group, unlike what those analysts say, is a very, very solid, very competitive, very balanced group, and our defeat in Tunisia against US Monastir, was a day off when we were simply not in good shape but in no way does it represent the true status of Yanga,” the tactician noted.

He added: “I take this victory modestly, there are still a lot of shortcomings to work on and, apart from the three points today, is that this victory will give my players the belief that they can go far too, they can qualify from this group."

"It's the messages that I haven't stopped telling them all week, of course, while training. It's outside of those three points that I wanted to give to my players the belief that they have the opportunity to qualify.”

On their motivation a day after Simba SC had lost 3-0 at home to Morocco’s Raja Casablanca, Nabi said that it was the desire to bounce back from humiliation in Tunisia that fuelled them rather than their rivals' results.

The coach revealed: “We are coaches and responsible people, I cannot rejoice in Simba SC’s defeat because they represent Tanzania the same way Young Africans SC represents Tanzania. "

Nabi stated: "So no, no, SimbaSC’s defeat was not our motivation but it is because we were humiliated in Tunisia and we were criticized too much even by the analysts and fans here.”

“It happens when any team can have an off day and it was our off day but we were slaughtered. I think we have never had such a bad game since I came to Tanzania,” he said.

The tactician stated: “People forget the real value and, if there is something very positive today, is that we have shown people that we have an excellent team and we have a great club here which is Young Africans SC.”

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