Lekgwathi: No added pressure
Lucky Lekgwathi (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Veteran Orlando Pirates skipper Lucky Lekgwathi says it will be a good feeling to taste victory when his side take on Platinum Stars in the Telkom Knockout final this weekend.
The Sea Robbers will battle against Dikwena for the R4.25m grand prize at the Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga on Saturday night.
Pirates defeated SuperSport United 2-1 in the semi-finals to book a place in the final, while Stars shocked Kaizer Chiefs 1-0.
Speaking exclusively to Sport24
, the long-serving Bucs captain shared his optimism on the much-anticipated cup final.
“It will be a good feeling to win and lift another trophy,” said Lekgwathi.
“I have been lifting trophies recently but we missed out on that last season but hopefully this Saturday it will be our day again.
“I just want to celebrate and enjoy the victory with my team-mates.”
Earlier this season Pirates lost the MTN8 Cup final (3-1 on penalties) to the North West Tycoons and also surrendered the much sought after CAF Champions League trophy to Al Ahly of Egypt.
Despite those two consecutive final defeats, the versatile defender insisted that Bucs aren’t feeling any added pressure to win this weekend.
“No pressure at all. We are used to the feeling of playing in a cup final.
“We have been playing so many cup finals in the past two years or so but it’s not going to be easy playing against a team of Platinum Stars’ calibre but we are up for the challenge and not under pressure.”
The Happy People are coming off a shocking 3-2 home loss to Bloemfontein Celtic in the league but Lekgwathi said the defeat was a wake-up call for his charges and the main objective now is to improve on their defensive errors.
“Phinda-Mzala” also stressed out that the unavailability of key players played a part in their loss.
“It was a wake-up call for us as we didn’t play well.
“Some of our key players like (Oupa) Manyisa and (Happy) Jele were not there due to suspensions.
“Our players were already thinking about the final so we did not fully concentrate on that game but it haunted us in the end.
“Now we are preparing for the final and we are doing our best to give the coach a selection headache and the return of Jele and Manyisa will be a major boost for us.”
The 37-year-old Ga-Rankuwa-born player also revealed that he is not intending to hang up his boots yet but will make a decision towards the end of the season.
“I haven’t really made a decision yet but I will decide at the end of the season.
“Currently I am enjoying my time here, the chairman is very supportive, the players and management as well.
“So I will see how it goes towards the end of the season.”
The Buccaneers will be looking to end their misery in this season’s cup finals when play gets underway at 20:15 on Saturday.