AfricaPress-Tanzania: TAIFA Stars Head Coach Etienne Ndayiragije said he likes criticisms because they give him a platform to learn what people want and thereby make constructive changes where necessary.

The Burundian trainer is set to guide Taifa Stars to a tough away Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) group J encounter against Tunisia on November 13th before hosting them on November 17th at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

The country’s flag bearers lost 1-0 to Burundi in their FIFA date build up match and that has been used to rectify mistakes before the start of the two- legged fixture of which Stars need to win at least one leg to have hopes of sailing farther into the competition.

“I like people who openly express their feelings for you to work on them and I have a big room to receive opinions and criticisms. I thank the supporters of Taifa Stars a lot because they always give us energy to continue working hard for them,” he said.

Asked how he feels whenever Taifa Stars face Burundi, Ndayiragije responded that coaching is his profession as such, during games between these two teams, he always stays to the side of his employer Tanzania.

“When I am doing the work which I get paid for, my focus remains to the team I represent which is Taifa Stars regardless which team I am facing. “Football is a fair play game as such, whether you win or lose, it is part of the competition without taking into consideration where one comes from,” he narrated.

He also pointed out that his family is always very supportive and they stand to his side at all the time even if Tanzania is playing against Burundi.

“Even in Burundi, there are many Burundians who support Taifa Stars just because I am coaching the country’s national team like during the recent friendly match we played, some people from Burundi were supporting Stars,” said he.

However, people who watched the friendly tie between Stars and Burundi gave kudos to two centre backs Bakari Mwamnyeto and Abdallah Salum saying the partnership of the duo was perfect despite being their first time to play together.

They have since been named as potential replacement of veteran defenders Kelvin Yondani and Erasto Nyoni who also during their peak at the national team formed a strong wall.

From the group J of the AFCON qualifiers, Tunisia tops with 6 points while Tanzania and Libya both have three points and sitting at the base of the table are Equatorial Guinea who are yet to stamp a victory in the contest.


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