Laffor admits to feeling pressure as CCL champs

Mamelodi Sundowns man Anthony Laffor

Mamelodi Sundowns winger Anthony Laffor admits that this year’s Caf Champions League journey poses new challeneges as they look to retain their African title.

Masandawana remain on course to retain their crown as the best team in Africa after progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League where they will meet Wydad Casablanca.

Pitso Mosimane’s side did not have an easy passage to the quarters, as they negotiated their way past the group stages with not a single victory at home and Laffor highlighted the difficulties posesd to their title defence.

“This year’s campaign has been different because we are the current champions and every club in Africa has been watching us,” he told kickoff.

“So before going to any other club to play they already know what we are going to do. So it is difficult but then the good thing is that we have a good technical team because they are doing their homework well.

“It has been different [this year] because the pressure is there, especially going to Tunisia to play in front of some 50 000 fans which is different from the first year [2015] when we were intimidated by such.

“We now know that everywhere we go it is going to be a crowd puller so we have set our minds well in that we don’t pay attention to what the fans are doing. We are only there to play football,” he added.

The 32-year-old highlighted the reasons behind the poor attendance at home, as opposed to the large crowds that are present at stadiums across Africa.

“In South Africa people just don’t support football like the way they do in North Africa and other countries. So for me I don’t feel disappointed at all playing at home, we just have to enjoy the moment because we still appreciate the fact that fans that come to watch us at Loftus and Lucas Moripe will have paid their money to come in.

“So we are not complaining about our fans at all. We enjoy and appreciate those that make the efforts to come to the stadium. Sundowns is not Esperance, Sundowns is not Saint George, we have our people that support us and we are grateful for that.

“We appreciate the numbers that come. We cannot really be complaining about supporters now when we won the Champions League with the same fans, the people that support us come,” he said.

Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

This story originally appeared on FourFourTwo.co.za