We have to win at home - Stade Malien Captain- Soumbeyla Diakite
Stade Malien is focusing on the Orange CAF Confederation Cup while chasing the national championship title after its elimination from the national cup. The captain and keeper of the team, Soumbeyla Diakite is conscious of the stakes and expresses the desire of the team to reach the group stage. He told Cafonline.com they need to win at home this Saturday against COD Meknes of Morocco.
Cafonline.com: What is your mind-frame like as you face COD Meknes of Morocco in the playoff for the group stage of the Orange Confederation Cup?
Soumbeyla Diakité: Everything is going on well. It is true that we have been knocked out of the national cup but we still maintain a winning spirit to handle this match. We have also played at this level of the competition and even won the trophy, however this year we have to meet our objective of being among the last eight clubs in this competition.
Cafonline.com: Has calm returned in the team?
Soumbeyla Diakité : Our team found it difficult to handle our elimination from the Mali Cup, especially as the leader of the championship remains unbeaten. Thus it was difficult for fans to believe in us. But believe me everything was put in place for the championship match of Sunday, June 24, 2012 which we went and won 2-1 against Nianan. The team managers have provided the means for the African competition. With the renewed confidence in the team, we will do all we can on Saturday to win at home while awaiting the return match.
Cafonline.com: Do you know enough about your opponents, COD Meknes?
Soumbeyla Diakité: Yes and no, because often it is fans and journalists who provide us with information on our next opponents. There is also a commission in the club in charge of that. This team has shown some quality, especially in the CAF Cup and even in its local championship. We will handle them with as much seriousness as we have done other matches. We have to play well, score and avoid conceding goals.
Cafonline.com: You seem to say the team is determined to make up for the poor season?
Soumbeyla Diakité: Seriously, I think it is an opportunity to save our season. Mathematically, we are on course for the championship title but we have been eliminated in the Cup. Like the other two Malian representatives in this competition we have a heavy responsibility to please and satisfy our supporters and managers.
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