Rayon Sports coach Ivan Minnaert is not expecting a smooth sailing in the CAF Confederation group stage – saying that all games are “tough” at that level of the competition.
Rayon were pooled alongside Kenya’s Gor Mahia, Yanga SC of Tanzania and Algeria’s USM Algers in group D during the draw held at CAF’s Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt Saturday.
“Not easy but normal at this stage. I think three of the teams in group are more or less at the same level except for the Algerians,” the Belgian said.
The former AFC Leopards (Kenya) and Djoliba AC (Mali) coach was cagey about his team’s chances of getting out of the group and into the quarterfinals.
“All will depend on details,” he offered, adding that “the team that will draw and win away will go through.”
Rayon’s first match will be against Gor at home on 6th May. Ivan is not new to K’Ogalo having faced them once in the league while he was with the Leopards in 2016.
“It’s two or three years ago and everything has changed ever since. All games are going to be tough,” he added.
Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr on the other hand is not setting goals at the group stage but wants his charges to give their best.
“It’s important that we go into this group stage focused and in the right mentality and we have to do our homework on our opponents.
“I don’t presume things and I don’t have any expectations, we have the best chance as anybody else so we are not going in there believing that we are going to qualify, but to try hardest to be the best team and come out not second but first,” the Englishman said.
“It’s all about preparations and planning, it’s all about my players having the ambition and the vision to say right I’m going to grab this not with both hands but with every part of my body, I’m going to grab this opportunity because it may never happen again in our lifetime as players,” he added.
Both Gor and Rayon made the group stage of the Africa’s second tier competition for the first time.
Gor turn their attention to the domestic league where they face Thika United at Machakos’ Kenyatta Stadium Sunday.
The full draw;
AS Vita Club