While everyone was glued to the 2018 Fifa World Cup, Pitso Mosimane’s players were going through their drills preparing for the Champions League, where they are targeting their first three points of the group stage this afternoon.
Downs, along with defending champions Wydad Casablanca, are favourites to advance to the knockout stages, but they currently find themselves third in Group C after drawing their opening two games against Wydad and Horoya.
“The Champions League is important … during the World Cup we have been training because we knew we were going to be playing in the Champions League. We are continuing our journey but where we are in the group is not where we are supposed to be as Sundowns,” Laffor said.
“We need to win our game, go back to South Africa and win our game there and we can be No 1 or No 2 and we will progress to the next stage of the competition. That is a possibility but we need to win our game first today,” he added.
When Laffor heard Sundowns would be playing against AS Togo-Port at 1pm in the afternoon, his reaction was “wow!” as he, a West African from Liberia, knows how unforgiving the sun can be in that part of the continent.
Much to his relief, however, Laffor soon realised it is the rainy season in Togo, and says playing in these conditions will be ideal.
“When I heard that we will play at 1pm I thought it was going to be hot because it gets very hot in dry season, and we are playing on an artificial pitch.
“The good thing is that it is the rainy season so the weather is going to be cool and it is a good time for us to play,” he said.
The Brazilians will be playing a Togolese side for the first time, and Laffor is aware how West Africans tend to flex their muscle – however, that does not bother him.
“West African teams are very physical but if you look at Sundowns we care less about what other teams do, we listen to our coaches and we follow tactics. We play our own game and we listen to what the coach wants us to do. If we play our football we will be okay because good football wins you games.”
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