Medeama coach Evans Augustine Adotey and captain Baba Abdulai Musah took questions from local and international journalists at the Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo ahead of our first ever CAF Champions’ League group stage match against record holders Al Ahly scheduled for Saturday.
The Ghanaian champions got to this historic stage after dispatching Nigerian side Remo Stars and Guinea powerhouse Horoya AC in the preliminary rounds.
It’s the biggest fixture in the club’s short but impressive history as we aim to do the unthinkable against the most successful African club.
Coach Evans Augustine Adotey gave his thoughts on the epic match while captain Baba Abdulai Musah shared his views on the explosive match at the Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo.
Impression on arrival in Cairo, Egypt
I am happy to be here. This is my third time of visiting Egypt. The reception here is good. Since our arrival, the hospitality has been good. I mean transportation, Accommodation, feeding and everything has been excellent so far. I am very happy to be here.
Views on the match
We are coming to this game eager to steal the show at the expense of Al Ahly that share the same ambition. I know Al Ahly as a giant of Africa. The number one rated team in Africa. We are just beginners. But tomorrow, we also want to demonstrate what we can also show on the African terrain.
Are you threatened by the pedigree of Al Ahly?
“Nothing threatens me. I am one coach who never feels threatened. I would like to see Al Ahly fans packed at the stadium. I am used to such atmosphere
How do you intend to contain marauding Al Ahly side in the first 15 minutes?
Well, as a coach of Medeama and from Ghana, there are three things am looking at. One is the functional guideline of Al Ahly – I mean their formational play. Two, the system of play!! I mean the functional guideline of a team within which each player has his own position, area of play and duties to perform. And finally, I’m looking at tactics. I have an idea about my opposition and I know how they will approach the game. I know the tactics to apply. I also know how eager they are to win the game tomorrow. I also have my secret under my sleeves just to frustrate Al Ahly to ensure that I go back home with a positive result.
Is there pressure on against Al Ahly?
There is no pressure on me. Whether they are playing at their own stadium – the Cairo International Stadium or the Al-Salam Stadium, it makes no difference. I have been to the world cup on four occasions, I’ve gone to several places when it comes to such competitions. All that I know is I’m psyching my boys to get ready for action on Saturday. We’re poised to face Al Ahly who happens to be the giants of Africa.
Percy Tau has scored four goals in five matches, how do you intend to stop him?
We are playing 10v10 on the field of play with the exception of the goalkeepers adding up making it 11vs11. I have to be cautious tomorrow because Al Ahly will come all out in an attacking fashion. It’s also my responsibility as a coach to ensure a strategy is mapped to deny them or to prevent them from scoring. I am not coming to play defense. We’re combining the two – defending to attack and attacking to defend.
How to deal with razor light targeted at the goalkeeper
I am not here to open up or showcase what I have under my sleeve. All that I’m saying is my team prepared to face the giants of Africa. All that I need to ensure that my players are ready. Because on the field of play, it’s 11versus 11. The only aspect I want to touch on are what, who, where, when, why and finally how my team is approaching the game tomorrow. Let’s see what transpired tomorrow at the end of the game!
Baba Abdulai Musah
How motivated are you to face Al Ahly?
Al Ahly is a big club on the continent. To play such teams, you don’t need anyone to motivate you. As a player, playing such big games, getting a good game or result is alone to motivate you. It put you out there so the playing body! We’ve had discussions among ourselves and we’re prepared to face them. We’re determined to go all out and fight against the African giants.
We came here with a plan or a strategy. But we can’t disclose that here! We’re defending to attack and attacking to defend.
Mission and targets
Our mission in the CAF Champions League is to go far. If we’re lucky to get the ultimate Alhamdulillah! And we’re aiming to go far. We’re here to play football and so we’ll see how it goes. They have big guys and its understandable. That doesn’t take anything away from the game.
We at Medeama know what to do on the field of play. We are going to match them and at the end of the 90 minutes may the best team win.