Celtic coach relishing chance to avenge defeat to Downs

Maduka takes Nedbank Cup final lessons into MTN8

Neville Khoza Journalist
John Maduka, coach of Bloemfontein Celtic.
John Maduka, coach of Bloemfontein Celtic.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Bloemfontein Celtic coach John Maduka thinks the experience they gained in losing the Nedbank Cup final to Mamelodi Sundowns last month will help them win the MTN8 title.

Celtic are still feeling the pain of losing that final to Sundowns and they have the opportunity to avenge that defeat when they meet in the MTN8 quarterfinal at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday (6pm).

Maduka blamed stage fright for losing the final but he says they have more experience now than when they met last month and want redemption.

“It is more of a repeat of the Nedbank Cup final we played a few weeks ago. We are expecting a tough game against Sundowns, one of the good teams, like we all say,” Maduka told the media yesterday through a virtual conference.

“But the way we have prepared we know that we will compete and what we are looking forward to is to make sure that we do well for ourselves.

“We lost the final but now we have the opportunity to redeem ourselves as we do in every game, to try and win this match.

“It’s been a while that we have not won anything, so this is the opportunity and we can only win [the MTN8] if we start [by] beating Sundowns. We are going all out to try and make sure we win the game.”

The Sundowns technical team has changed since they last played, with Steve Komphela, Manqoba Mngqithi and Rulani Mokwena in charge of the Brazilians after Pitso Mosimane left to join Al Ahly.

Maduka says they may have made changes but the identity of Sundowns remains the same, and they will prepare for that accordingly.

“We try our best to prepare the team to play according to our strength. We strongly believe that whoever they will use on the day they will still use the same principles as Sundowns,” he said.

“They can change the personnel but the way they play is the same ...Remember, the coaches who are there now were there with coach Pitso and they have been successful together. We believe that going into this game there won’t be many changes except for a few personnel.

“When we got to a game like this, it is to make sure that we play according to our plans, and if we do that well, we will get the results that we want.”

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