Johannesburg - Beware the wounded beast. This was the message Orlando Pirates coach Ruud Krol delivered on Wednesday after a training session in preparation for Saturday night's Nedbank Cup semi-final against Mpumalanga Black Aces at Orlando Stadium.
"They might have finished bottom of the PSL log and find themselves confronted by relegation, but they put up a really good fight to save their status at the tail-end of the season and have shown good form," said the Buccaneers' coach after a training session at the Johannesburg Stadium
"What is more, they have shown they are determined to come away with some success in the Nedbank Cup to compensate for their Premier League disappointments and are potentially dangerous opponents - as they showed when they were the first team to beat us earlier in the season."
But Krol said Pirates were geared to achieve Nedbank Cup success to add to the MTN8 trophy they won earlier in the season and would be fully focused on Saturday's game in spite of also chasing log leaders Ajax Cape Town going into the last round of fixtures next week.
"The League is very important, but we cannot be thinking of that right now - or be worrying about players with yellow cards who might face suspensions. That can come after the Aces game."
Krol also dismissed reports that Pirates captain and former Bafana Bafana midfield star, Benson Mhlongo, who has been out of active competition for more than a year after suffering a serious leg injury, would be making a comeback on Saturday night.
"Sure Benson is back in training and making good progress, but a tough cup match is not the right time for him to make a re-appearance and we will bring him back at the right time."
However, the Pirates coach revealed that goalkeeper Senso Meyiwa, who has shown good form while deputising for the injured Moeneeb Josephs before himself picking up an injury, was likely to return to action.