Simba SC coach Sven Vandenbroeck has praised the mental strength of his squad as they head into an important match in their 2019-20 Mainland Premier League campaign on Sunday.
After Azam FC dropped points on Saturday following a 1-1 draw against Biashara United, the Wekundu wa Mzimbazi now need just a draw from their away fixture against Tanzania Prisons in Mbeya town to be crowned the champions.
Azam were headed for a narrow win when Frank Domayo scored in the second minute of the second half but conceded a goal in the fourth minute of added time, when Gershon Kabeja scored to ensure they lose the second spot to Yanga SC, who beat Ndanda FC 3-2.
Simba are at the top of the 20-team league table on 78 points, 18 more than second-placed Yanga while Azam have 59 points. A draw for Simba will see them reach an unassailable tally and thus clinch a third straight league title.
The Belgian tactician has praised the character of his players heading into the decisive clash, insisting they are not looking at the results of their opponents and want to complete the job they launched at the start of the season in Mbeya.
“We are not bothered with how Azam played because our main job is to make sure we beat Tanzania Prisons to win the title,” Vandenbroeck told Goal ahead of Sunday's battle.
“The boys have been longing for such a day when they have to win or get a point to be declared champions, they are looking sharp and good in training, they know they have a huge job ahead of them and are ready for the task, I am very impressed with how they have been responding since our last match in the league.
“It is our biggest match of the season because we will celebrate if we win and the boys are aware of that, we must stay focused and do our job without looking at what happened to our opponents, it is all about us, it is all about how we play and finish the job and I have confidence in the squad.
“I'm sure tomorrow [Sunday] we will play a good game. Every player is ready for the game and that is a good thing for the coach to choose any player. We will play to win and if the result is positive we will get something extra and that's our goal.”
With the return of midfielder Jonas Mkude, Vandenbroeck has a fully-fit squad to pick from against Prisons at Sokoine Stadium.