Celtic relish home Chiefs tie

2013-03-18 16:09
Lennox Bacela (Backpage)

Johannesburg - Bloemfontein Celtic forward Lennox Bacela is delighted that his side were handed a home draw for their Nedbank Cup quarterfinal tie against Kaizer Chiefs next month.

Having knocked out Free State Stars at the weekend, Bacela said Celtic would now turn their attention to Chiefs, who pose a formidable threat to the Bloemfontein side's cup ambitions.

"The most important thing for us was getting that home draw," Bacela said on Monday.

"When we are at home, we know that we do well there."

Phunya Sele Sele have already tasted cup success this season, when they won the Telkom Knockout in December, beating Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in the final, and Bacela believed the experience of winning that title had changed the team's mentality in major competitions.

"For most teams, after winning a trophy, the wheels start coming off, but that hasn't been the case for us," Bacela said after the draw.

"I think that has changed our mentality in terms of going for bigger things.

"Playing at home, we know we have a good chance of winning the game.

"If we overcome Chiefs, I think we can go on and win the cup."

Bacela added that Celtic had grown into a competitive team across all competitions and wanted to win as many titles as they could, rather than merely playing to survive in the country's top-flight.

"The objectives of this season have been laid out and everyone knew what the objectives were. The mentality of the guys has changed.

"Gone are the days when Celtic were just a team that wanted to maintain their status in the Premiership.

"The coaches installed a winning mentality in the team and us winning the Telkom Knockout has changed the attitudes and made us more ambitious."

With the sixth edition of the Nedbank Cup nearing the business end of the competition, the sponsor announced that the prize money for the winners would be increased to R7m - something Bacela and his teammates were putting out of their minds.

"We haven't spoken about that yet. I think it's too early to be thinking about money right now," he said.

"We still have two games before we get to the final, so we have to deal with this game first before we can start thinking about money.

"We know there is a policy in the team that whenever we win something, we share the prize money, so it won't be something we'll be talking about now, because we have two games to play before we get to the final."

Meanwhile, Mamelodi Sundowns will face a tricky assignment when they take on Premiership title contenders Platinum Stars in their quarterfinal fixture.

Defending champions SuperSport United were drawn away and will take on either Maritzburg United or Tembu Royals FC, who will square off in their last 16 clash in Mthatha on Friday.

The second-round match was postponed after AmaZulu laid a complaint against Royals for fielding an allegedly ineligible player, Zukisa Ginya, in their 2-1 defeat to the third-tier club in the first round of the cup competition.

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) confirmed on Monday that the complaint had been dismissed, and the match, initially scheduled to be played at the weekend, was rescheduled.

Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs will face Bloemfontein Celtic away from home in the quarterfinals, and United FC will host fellow First Division outfit African Warriors.

Nedbank Cup quarter-finals draw:

Tembu Royals FC/Maritzburg United v SuperSport United, Mamelodi Sundowns v Platinum Stars, United FC v African Warriors, Bloemfontein Celtic v Kaizer Chiefs.


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