'No pressure' on Bucs
Patrick Phungwayo (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates defender Patrick Phungwayo says there is no pressure on the defending champions as they open their Telkom Knockout campaign against Black Leopards in Polokwane on Saturday evening.
“The main aim is to win this cup, to defend it,” Phungwayo said.
“As a team we don't have any pressure because we're ready for anything that is thrown at us.
“All we have to do is go out there and win this game on Saturday.”
In his first season at the Buccaneers, Phungwayo said he relished the opportunity to win titles.
“Coming here to Pirates, I came here to win trophies,” he said.
Phungwayo said Leopards would offer a stiff challenge, but he believed the visitors, treble trophy winners for two seasons in succession, would be too good for the Polokwane outfit.
“They (Leopards) have found momentum," he said.
"They started to win some games, but with us still it's about winning and things are going well for us.
“I don't think we will struggle to win this game. We have to go out there to win at all costs.
“We know they're going to come out at us guns firing but we're prepared for all that.”
Phungwayo was also upbeat to be working with new Pirates coach Roger de Sa. The pair had previously spent four seasons together at Wits.
“Most of the time since I've been with Roger we worry about ourselves and not the opponents," he said.
“If we worry too much about the opponents we can forget about our tactics, so what's more important with Roger is focussing on us and how we're going to score.
"If we change our style of play we will be playing other team's style.”
Elsewhere on Saturday, Ajax Cape Town will host a strong SuperSport United side at Athlone Stadium and Golden Arrows travel to Bethlehem to take on Free State Stars.
Moroka Swallows, who won the MTN8 this season, will hope to continue their impressive cup form when they face Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium.
On Sunday, Chippa United square up against Bloemfontein Celtic in Cape Town and AmaZulu entertain Platinum Stars in Durban.
In Tuesday's final first-round fixture, league strugglers Mamelodi Sundowns will hope to get their season back on track when they host University of Pretoria in a derby clash at Loftus Versfeld.