Cape Town - Orlando Pirates midfielder Mpho Makola is adamant that the Soweto giants won't finish the Premiership season out of the top-eight bracket.
The ninth-placed Buccaneers have seven matches to avoid an unwanted record of failing to secure a place in the top eight for the first time since the league's inception in 1996.
On-song Pirates welcome relegation-threatened Baroka FC to the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday, having been held to a goalless draw by fellow strugglers Highlands Park in their last encounter.
"The positive results we have been getting in recent matches have come as a morale booster for us indeed, and we are now looking for nothing but consistency in our remaining games of this season," Makola told Vodacom Soccer.
"Look, we are left with seven games to fight for top eight, and every player in the team right now is fired up to give his best to play for a win in these remaining games.
"Yes, our remaining games are the tough ones if you look at the teams Baroka, Chippa (United), (Bidvest) Wits, (Mamelodi) Sundowns and (Bloemfontein) Celtic. Baroka and Celtic are fighting relegation; Chippa are fighting for top eight like us, while Wits and Sundowns are league title contenders.
"But we are prepared for the battle, and I'm fully optimistic that the team of Pirates' calibre will never finish the season out of top-eight."
Commenting on Bakgaga, Makola said: "They have been a better side in the recent games with a fighting spirit and confidence, and who expected them to stun SuperSport (with a 2-1 victory) shortly after their hard-fought draw with Chiefs.
"And remember they drew with us (1-1) in the first round, and they come to this game with the confidence. Of course we are expecting a tough game against them, but we will go all out for a much needed victory in this upcoming clash."