Soccer

Wits eye Chiefs scalp

2012-10-17 14:17
Antonio Lopez Habas (Gallo)
  Video

Doctor Khumalo blasts SAFA

2012-10-17 10:32

Doctor Khumalo had tried to have the match rescheduled as six of their players will only return from Bafana Bafana duty in Kenya on Wednesday, but their request was rejected by the league.

Johannesburg - Wits are looking to set the record straight when they take on Kaizer Chiefs in a first-round Telkom Knockout clash in Johannesburg on Friday, according to coach Antonio Lopez Habas.

The last time the teams met, Chiefs beat the Clever Boys 3-1 in a Premiership fixture in Nelspruit last month and Habas said on Wednesday he wanted his side to reverse the result.

"It's a different game. It's a cup game so we know if we win we are okay, but if we lose we are out," the Spaniard said.

"We are prepared and I don't have problems with the team. It's impossible for us to make excuses."

Habas joined the Students in July, replacing current Orlando Pirates coach Roger De Sa, and he believed the new-look Wits side would be able to challenge the rest of the top-tier outfits in the knockout competition.

"The competition is here. The game is Friday," Habas said.

"It's 90 minutes at the Bidvest Stadium so there is no problem.

"It's another competition and our obligation is winning our competition with the personnel that we have.

"We are absolutely prepared. There are a lot of new players, a new coach, but we are ready."

The former Mamelodi Sundowns boss added he would need to look at his team and consider giving some of the fringe players a run in order to keep the squad fresh for the rest of the league campaign.

He also dismissed claims that Chiefs, who are leading the Premiership standings after seven rounds of matches, would be weakened after several of their stars were on national duty for Bafana Bafana and could be absent for the cup clash.

Chiefs assistant coach Doctor Khumalo had hit out at the Premier Soccer League for scheduling the fixture as the first of eight in the opening round of the cup competition - three days after Bafana beat Kenya 2-1 in a friendly international in Nairobi.

Khumalo said they would have preferred to play the game later to give their international players a rest.

Habas, however, said his squad had also been affected by the international window, with a number of their players turning out for their national teams.

"We also had three players out for the internationals with Zimbabwe, Botswana and Malawi, so what is the problem?" he said.

"We want to win and so do Chiefs, so the players will not play a part. They are motivated.

"It will be difficult. They are experienced, but we are absolutely prepared."

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