Simba coach reveals how he plans to silence Wydad’s hostile fans in Morocco

©Simba SC Twitter.

FOOTBALL Simba coach reveals how he plans to silence Wydad’s hostile fans in Morocco

Joel Omotto • 16:20 - 27.04.2023

The Brazilian tactician will seek to employ a different approach to the one used during his team’s home win last week.

Simba head coach Roberto Oliveira does not plan to play expansive football during Friday’s CAF Champions League quarter-final return leg against defending champions Wydad Casablanca.

Wekundu wa Msimbazi secured a shock 1-0 win in Dar es Salaam last weekend to gain an advantage heading into the second leg in Morocco but Oliveira, popularly known as Robertinho, admits opening up might play into the hosts’ hands and see his side eliminated.

Simba are seeking to make it to a semi-final of a CAF competition for the first time since 1974 and with history beckoning, the Brazilian tactician plans to employ a different approach given how intimidating the Wydad supporters have been for visiting teams over the years.

“There will be changes in the squad. We must be very careful because our opponents will come at us hard and not the way they played in Tanzania,” Robertinho said. “We must accept that we need a cautious approach although our preparations suggest we can do big things away.”

Robertinho has employed an attractive brand of football since his appointment in January, focusing on retaining possession as his side has been able to suffocate their opponents by denying them the ball in key areas as witnessed against Wydad last week.

However, playing away calls for a different setup and the tactician is perhaps also mindful of his side’s recent trip to Morocco when they lost 3-1 to Wydad’s cross town rivals Raja Casablanca in the group stages of the competition on April 1.

Simba have also been helped greatly by their resolute defence which has conceded just one goal in their last eight matches in all competitions.

Kenyan international Joash Onyango and Congolese Henock Baka have been ever-present figures at the heart of the team’s defence, clearing danger both in the air and on the ground, and they will be tested to the limit in Morocco.

Wekundu wa Msimbazi need just a draw to book their place in the last four which perhaps informs Robertinho’s approach.