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Pasuwa reacts to CAF Champions League draw

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Kalisto Pasuwa has reacted to the 2023 CAF Champions League preliminary round draw that has paired FCB Nyasa Big Bullets against Dragon FC.

Bullets were drawn against the Equatorial Guinea side during the draw conducted in Egypt on Tuesday afternoon.

Commenting on the draw, Pasuwa, who will this season be looking to go beyond the first preliminary round against a team that last participated in continental competition in 2010, believes that unknown opponents pose more threat than familiar teams.

“These are unknown opponents that we don’t know much about and that’s how tough it will be for us, so we don’t need to underestimate them,” he told Bullets Media.

“We need to put everything for us to sail through. In these competitions, it’s not about being on the field of play. It’s the collective responsibility of everyone, ranging from the management to supporters. All in all, to the boys, we have been there. We also played Yanga [of Tanzania] in a friendly match [this month], and they know what it takes to perform on an international stage.

“We played some of the teams from Mozambique at the start of the season [during the pre-season international bonanza] and these boys saw how [games like] the Champions League [are] played, it’s not about running everywhere, you need to be very tactical to progress,” he added.

Pasuwa was quick to dismiss the assertion that Bullets are favourites going into the tie, considering that their opponents haven’t been playing in CAF competitions for years.

“The problem with us is that we have been rebuilding. We are always bringing youngsters to the team year in, year out. If there was consistency in saying we play Patrick Mwaungulu who played in the last two to three years, it could have been better. Still, as you can see, we are having three to four guys promoted from the reserves and we had some whom we used when we played Simba [last campaign] and are no longer with us.

“If you read between the lines, the coaches are more familiar with playing in CAF Champions League than players because we are always rebuilding and losing players,” he responded.

Pasuwa was also asked to comment if he will be beefing up his squad ahead of the continental competition, which kicks off next month, and he said, “We registered 33 players, meaning we have no space at the moment. But if we can analyze the squad and release some players who are not doing well, we can add some new faces to the team.”

The first leg of the first preliminary round will be played from 18 to 20 August 2023 away in Bata, with the return leg set for the following week at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

A win over Dragon FC will see Bullets facing the Democratic Republic of Congo’s TP Mazembe in the second round of the qualifying games.

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