13th August, 2010
Fit-again Nigeria international defender, Yusuf Mohammed, has told MTNFootball.com his target is to help Sudanese club, Al Hilal, win this yearâ€™s CAF Confederation Cup.
Mohammed has recovered from a horrific Achilles tendon injury he suffered at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year.
â€œThe Confederation Cup is very important for my team and we are preparing very hard to ensure that we win at the end of the day,â€ disclosed Mohammed, who won the CAF Champions League with Enyimba.
â€œOur new Serbian coach, Milutin Sredojevic, is very happy with me and he has told me that he is banking on me in this campaign.â€
Al Hilal are drawn in Group A along with Djoliba of Mali, Al Ittihad from Libya and ASFAN of Niger and open the league phase of the competition away to Ittihad this weekend.
Last year, the Sudanese giants reached the semi-final of the more prestigious CAF Champions League before they lost out to eventual winners TP Mazembe of DR Congo.
Mohammed has equally been excited by his current form after his long-term injury.
â€œI am very happy because I scored the first goal in our 2-0 victory away to Al Ahli Khartoum on Monday,â€ he informed MTNFootball.com.
â€œI also made the pull-out that was converted by our striker in our lone goal victory away to Jazeerat Al Feel last Wednesday though I played only the second half.
â€œThat is why the coach told me that he is building the team around me to lead them to victory away to Al Ittihad in Libya on Sunday. It is a huge responsibility which I am ready to carry.â€
Meanwhile, Al Hilal coach Milutin Sredojevich said that the group is tough but he is optimistic his Sudanese team will qualify to the semifinals of the competition.
After his side beat hosts CAPS United 3-1 at Rufaro stadium in Harare on Sunday in their round 1/8th to advance 8-1 on aggregate, â€œMichoâ€, as the Serbian-born coach is popularly known as, told Cafonline from Harare that Al Hilal will plan their objectives in the Confederations Cup with each step of the way.
â€œBeing grouped in a tough group stage with Libyan giants, Ittihad from Tripoli, Djoliba from Bamako and surprise package FAN from Niger which ejected our expensively collected squad El Merreikh, we have reasons to be optimistic before the competition in the group stages begins on 15 August,â€ Micho told Cafonline.
â€œWe have put in front of us our second target after fulfilling the first target to reach the group stage and that is to reach the semifinal of the CAF Confederations Cup.
â€œAlthough this group will not be easy, but having that in mind, I have got a group of born-winners who are ready to work hard.â€
Al Hilal open their Group A campaign away to 2007 CAF Champions League semifinalists Ittihad during the weekend of August 13-15 before hosting AS FAN two weeks later in Omdurman.
Al Hilal, who return to the Confederations Cup for the first time since 2004, are one of three sides that started their journey in the Orange CAF Champions League but were relegated after failing to qualify to mini-league stage of CAFâ€™s premier club competition.