We will be ready for Rollers: Madidilane

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Mikia Kalati

BANTU coach James Madidilane is confident that his side will be ready to do the country proud when they take on Botswana’s Township Rollers in the African Champions League next weekend.

A Matšo Matebele lost 2-1 to Bloemfontein Celtic at the weekend in the Cherry’s Cup at Meqheleng Stadium in Ficksburg. The game also served as part of their preparations for the prestigious continental club competition.

And Madidilane feels his side, which has endured a slow start to its title defence, played well against Steve Komphela’s side which fielded all its best players on the day.

“We will play them again this week to continue working on improving,” Madidilane said adding: “On Saturday we wanted to assess the way we defend as a team and also improve the spirit of our squad”.

“We played well for the first 32 minutes and Celtic struggled to find their way past us. I think they never threatened us and also didn’t look like they will score a goal.

“I think we will be ready for the next weekend’s match with Rollers and we will try to push the boys as we will be playing away.”

The Bantu mentor said that he has not had a chance to go to Botswana to watch Township Rollers in action but has videos that he is hopeful will give him an idea of what to expect.

“Defensively I think we are not that bad based on the way we played against Celtic until we lost concentration and conceded the two goals.

“We have to work more on our finishing because we have been struggling for goals in the league. It’s one element that we are working more on because you can’t win games without scoring goals,” he said.

Madidilane said he is also confident that his star players will rise to the occasion when they face the Botswana champions in the two-legged tie in the preliminary round.

However, he admitted that it’s been difficult to have all his players as Hlompho Kalake and Bokang Sello have also had to focus on the national team over the last four months.

The former Premier League Player of the year, Kalake, has not been at his best in recent months for Bantu but made an impact coming from the bench as Likuena beat Tanzania 1-0 on Sunday.

“It has been difficult to help some of the players rediscover their best form as they have been busy with the national team.

“But we will ensure that they are fresh for the game with Rollers and that they are not too loaded in terms of their fitness,” Madidilane said.

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