Psychological war for Downs

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Mamelodi Sundowns need nerves of steel if they wish to beat TP Mazembe in the second leg of the African Confederation Cup this weekend.

The Brazilians meet the tough as teak Congolese at their backyard - Lubumbashi Stadium - in what is expected to be an entertaining but hard game on Sunday.

Sundowns will be spurred on by their SAA Supa 8 victory over Orlando Pirates last weekend and a 3-1 win in their league encounter against BidVest Wits on Wednesday night.

But team manager Harris Chueu said he was concerned about the hostilities his players will be facing. He said they were aware of TP Mazembe's volatile supporters, but they have been working on their players' mental toughness.

"We'll not only be up against the team but also against their hostile supporters. Our players need to be man enough to absorb the pressure," Chueu said.

"We've prepared well for this game and we're not going out there for a draw, but to collect the maximum points."

In their first encounter Sundowns were shocked by their opponents, who scored two quick goals through leading marksman Tresor Mputu. But they came back strongly to score three goals to claim the tie.

Chueu says Sundowns will have a tough job containing Mazembe's lethal strikers, but he feels they are up to it.

The defending league champions are level on six points with their opponents, but are second to the Congolese on goal difference in the four-team group. Good news for Sundowns is the return from suspension of Vuyo Mere.