Soccer

Hunt wary of Vasco threat

2013-03-12 13:03
Gavin Hunt (Gallo)

Pretoria - Coach Gavin Hunt has warned that SuperSport United's second-round knockout fixture against Vasco da Gama could end in an upset if his players are not mentally prepared.

United, the defending Nedbank Cup champions, square up against the First Division outfit in Cape Town on Wednesday.

"It's a potential banana skin for us. It's a dangerous game for us because they've (Vasco) got nothing to lose and we've got everything to lose," Hunt said on Tuesday.

"I know those types of players. I'm from that area and they work hard, they'll be organised, they'll be very aggressive, so we're going to have to be on our game.

"When you play a team that's lower in the league, when you play a Premiership team, the game can go either way, but in these types of games, we have everything to lose."

SuperSport head into the match on the back of a 1-0 derby victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in a league clash on Sunday, but Hunt said the team would need to put that game out of their minds and focus on the cup competition.

"We can't just go down there and think it's going to be easy.

"When you play a lower division side, your expectations are that, 'we are going to rock up and win'.

"I know we won the tournament last year but it doesn't work like that in football.

"If you arrive and you aren't mentally tuned in, you're going to come second."

Vasco have struggled this season, lying ninth in the National First Division standings, but Hunt dismissed the temptation to field a weakened team against the underdogs.

"One or two players are out with injury but we'll field our strongest side available," he said.

"I treat every game with the respect it deserves. I know the team very well and I know all of the players well.

"I've watched them on numerous occasions and they're a tough side to play against."

Nedbank Cup last 16 fixtures:

Wednesday: SuperSport United v Vasco da Gama (Athlone Stadium), Black Leopards v Platinum Stars (Old Peter Mokaba Stadium)

Friday: Mamelodi Sundowns v Golden Arrows (Loftus Versfeld)

Saturday: Jomo Cosmos v United FC (Makhulong Stadium), Free State Stars v Bloem Celtic (Charles Mopeli Stadium), Kaizer Chiefs v Polokwane City (Moses Mabhida Stadium)

Sunday: African Warriors v Maluti FET College (Charles Mopeli Stadium), Tembu Royals v Maritzburg United (Mthatha Stadium)

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