Swallows ready for Pirates
Lefa Tsutsulupa (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Moroka Swallows captain Lefa Tsutsulupa was confident on Thursday that his side could overcome Orlando Pirates at Dobsonville Stadium next weekend.
"Pirates is just like any other team," said Tsutsulupa, whose team comes off a 3-0 demolishing of Mamelodi Swallows in the last 16.
"We just need to give them the respect they deserve and plan properly and apply ourselves in a positive way."
The match will be the biggest of the Telkom Knockout quarter-final matches after the cup competition draw was conducted on Thursday.
The exact dates of the fixtures will be announced at a later stage.
The Birds skipper touched on the effect Gordon Igesund had on the Soweto outfit, who have risen to third on the Premier Soccer League table.
"Gordon has instilled a sense of belief in us that we can achieve, and I think we are starting to reap the rewards," he said.
Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi seemed to agree as he played down his own team's chances.
"It's going to be a big mountain to climb," he said.
"But I'm happy now because we have started to win our games, and we want to continue that."
With the defending champions Kaizer Chiefs eliminated in the previous round by Platinum Stars, this fixture becomes the premier Soweto derby.
Tsutsulupa was quick to play down any thoughts that home advantage would sway the result.
"Not really, home advantage to me or the club doesn't make a difference. It will be about who wants it more, depending on the effort you put in and the energy we have," he said.
"Look, we have a positive attitude in the club. We have more experience with the players. The way we approach matches is unbelievable, so the Pirates game is no different."
The Birds captain said the emphasis in his team was performance, which would take of care of the results.
"We will go out there, and try and get as many goals as possible and be more organised and apply any instruction that the coach gives us," Tsutsulupa said.
"I think we have been playing very well, I'll only ask for continuity because it's best for us to have positive momentum, whether it be in the league or cup matches.
"Winning really helps lift the morale of the guys so we can really try and achieve great things."
Lekgwathi was not worried about playing Swallows twice within a month and said his side will be up for the challenge.
"It's not going to be the first time for us to play the same team twice in a month, but Swallows are a quality side," Lekgwathi said.
"They have quality players, [Siyabonga] Nomvethe, [Bennett] Chenene, [Joseph] Makhanya and they will come to prove a point."
"Dobsonville is our second home because it is in Jo'burg, but it's going to be tough at the same time because it's a derby. It should be an entertaining game."
The Buccaneers' skipper also played down his team being billed as favourites for the tournament which was the only one to elude the treble-winners last season.
"I don't think we're the favourites because all the teams now are doing well. All the teams are tough. And Swallows, they are on-song and on top of their game."
The draw also sees Jomo Cosmos playing at home against Bidvest Wits.
Platinum Stars will travel to Santos, with Ajax Cape Town hosting Golden Arrows.
The seeded teams for the draw were according to last season's Premier Soccer League final log standings.The Telkom Knockout quarter-finals draw - home teams listed first:
* denotes seeded team.
Moroka Swallows v Orlando Pirates *
Jomo Cosmos v Bidvest Wits *
Santos * v Platinum Stars
Ajax Cape Town * v Golden Arrows.