KAIZER Chiefs midfielder Willard Katsande says they will remain level-headed going into the CAF Champions League final against giants Al Ahly.
The South Africans have managed to reach the final despite the underdog tag – something which Katsande believes helped them sail.
Speaking to the club’s website, the Zimbabwean said in as much as they want to lift the trophy, the reality is they have not won it yet.
“This season we turned the corner in terms of CAF competition. Every game is tough in the Champions League; it requires you to bring your A game to get what you want.
“Going to the final for the first time, becoming only the fourth team to do so without conceding a goal at home, is a good state for us to be in. It will put us in a good position.
“We’re still humble, level-headed, we know we haven’t won anything yet, but we really want it. We are just going to work hard and get back on the horse to get the victory in the final,” said Katsande.
Katsande, who made his 325th appearance Chiefs at the weekend – equaling Tinashe Nengomasha’s record for the foreign player who has played the most number of games for Amakhosi, said they carried the underdog tag from day one.
“The funny and interesting thing about this CAF campaign is that we carried the underdog tag from day one until now, people never gave us a chance.
“We started our CAF campaign in the middle of a rough patch, when we were not doing well in the league. We won narrowly away and managed to keep a clean sheet at home to get a result and sneak through,” he said.
The former Warriors captain believes their experience in Africa – though eliminated early on numerous occasions – helped they progress.
“In my time at the club, we’ve played in the Champions League on a number of occasions. Even with all the experience and the number of international players we had, we had always gone out in the preliminary round or the first round.
“We really wanted to get into the group stages this time around. And we used the experience of our previous CAF disappointments to keep on learning and plugging away,” said Katsande.
He said – at one time – it felt their season was crumbling after they humiliated in the group stage of the competition.
“We felt the pain of our supporters, coming home after losing 4-0. And even playing in the domestic league we were not doing well. We really gave the wrong impression to our supporters. But we kept going until the results came and we managed to progress to the quarter finals.
“We knew we needed to be better playing away at Wydad in the semi-finals than we were when they beat us 4-0. We were coming off back to back victories and securing a Top 8 finish, so we had a bit of confidence.
The guys kept on grinding, pushing and applying the tactics of our technical team. The master tactician (Arthur Zwane) told us they will see a different, determined Kaizer Chiefs. ‘Win, lose or draw I want to see you perform’. We kept to our rhythm and game plan, which managed to get us to the final,” he said.