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MBABANE – Tough game it is for Red Lions but their coach Mlamuli ‘Sputla’ Zwane believes if he has eleven players, they can stand up to the Manzini Wanderers’ challenge.

Following reports about challenges in the team that saw training suspended last week due to payment issues, Emabhubesi were back sweating it out last Friday and Saturday but with several players reportedly missing.

“What is true is Wanderers are playing well these days but so long as I have 11 players training and ready to play, then we’ll take on our opponents. I’m not one about the club’s administrative challenges but mine is to ensure the players are ready and have their minds prepared,” Zwane said yesterday ahead of their hub derby fixture on Saturday in Nhlangano.

Questioned on how the situation was at training after last week’s events, Zwane insisted that for him, it did not matter if all the players were there or not but he and the management were doing their best to talk to the players and also resolve things.

“I’m talking to the players to return and play because in the end, they should want to play and market themselves more than anything so I’m hopeful that today (yesterday) everyone will report for training as some had asked to go home,” he said.

Zwane could not be drawn to reveal who or how many players exactly he trained on the two days last week when they returned. He also could not say which players were missing but from his tone and responses, it sounded a desperate situation.

“We’re still trying to be professional in the country and already our football is showing some signs but the players also need to understand we’re not yet there. It’s a personality test for the players and they need to know that in football you should experience such things but stay strong for yourself,” he said.

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