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Tembo downplays SuperSport's chances of qualifying for the Caf Confederation Cup next season

Kaitano Tembo, coach of SuperSport United.
Kaitano Tembo, coach of SuperSport United.
Image: ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo has downplayed his side's chances of qualifying for the Caf Confederation Cup next season.

United’s last gasp 1-0 win over Black Leopards on Tuesday night ensured that they remain third on the standings and two points clear of fourth-placed Bidvest Wits‚ who have played one match less.

United have not played continental football since they lost to Kenyan giants Gor Mahia in the play-offs stage of the Confederation Cup in 2018 and Tembo doesn’t want to think too far ahead.

“For us at the moment is to try to take it one game at a time and that’s very important‚” said Tembo.

“We don’t want to really look way ahead ourselves and I am focusing more on our performance and building for next season. We are not going to have enough time during the off-season to prepare‚ so this is part of our preparation for next season. We are taking it one game at a time and also try to finish better than last season.”

United take on Orlando Pirates in their next league match at Ellis Park on Saturday and three points in that game would almost certainly eliminate the Buccaneers from the race for third spot.

“Where we are at the moment also makes me look back and say we have dropped points where we were not supposed to have done so.

"For an example‚ in the first round we conceded late equalisers against Black Leopards and Stellenbosch FC and we would be in a much better position if it was not for that. Those are games that you look back at and say we could have done better‚ but we can’t be critical to the players.

“Our team has changed a lot from the one I took over and reached the Confederation Cup final in 2017. We had guys like Thuso Phala‚ Reneilwe Letsholonyane‚ Morgan Gould and all those players who are no longer here.

"We are trying to bring in a lot of youngsters like Ghampani Lungu‚ Jamie Webber‚ Luke Fleurs and Jesse Donn who have potential. We demand a little bit more in terms of consistency from our youngsters and we are building a team that is challenging for honours.”

Looking back at their win over Leopards‚ Tembo said he was impressed with the overall performance.

“We had a very good start to the game‚ we kept the ball very well and got into very good areas. We pressed the ball very well‚ got into the pockets and with a bit of luck we could have buried the game in the first half. In the second half‚ it became a little bit of an open game and we also became impatient.

“Our two attacking midfielders never really got into areas as they were doing in the first half and we had to make changes by bringing in Thamsanqa Gabuza‚ Jesse Donn‚ Aubrey Modiba to get our quality back. We kept on probing but I was impressed with the overall performance‚ even though I thought we could have done better.”