Cape Town - Orlando Pirates will look to extend their unbeaten run to six matches when they lock horns against Platinum Stars in Phokeng on Saturday.
OFPC.com caught up with the Bucs trio, formerly of Platinum Stars Issa Sarr, Tshepo Gumede and Siyabonga Mpontshane who shared their views on the upcoming clash against their former employers.
“I am happy to be playing against my former team, this will be the first time I play against Platinum Stars since leaving them for Pirates.
“I suspect they will sit back for the first twenty minutes to absorb pressure, see what we are going to bring and try to identify a weakness they can exploit. They like to hold back and play defensively during this time and rely on counter attacks. Thereafter they will come hard at us and try to break us down through the middle.
“It is always nice to come up against one’s former team but I am not under pressure, I have nothing to prove, I know what we are capable of, all the Pirates players want to do well and help the team collect three points on Saturday. We respect all opposition we play against but the focus for is not what Platinum Stars do on the field but rather the focus for us will be to executing our plan.”
“I would relish the opportunity to play against my former team, they know me and I know what they are about, I know their mentality and their plan for us which should make it an interesting affair.
“We know Rustenburg is really hot and obviously Platinum Stars will be using the heat as a weapon but we have been working hard at training since January on our fitness and conditioning so I believe we will be up for the challenge. The idea is to pace ourselves and control the conditions on the pitch by retaining possession and controlling the pace of the game.”
“The fact that the weather has been in the upwards of 30 degrees in Joburg will also come to our aid as we are now used to the extreme weather conditions. In fact in an effort to raise our tolerance levels for the searing heat expected in Phokeng, we will be training at 15h00 this afternoon, which should match the conditions we will be playing under on Saturday”.
“We have a clear objective of finishing in the top two positions, so for Pirates each match has a different approach depending on the opposition but the objective is the same at all times, we want to get the three points in order to achieve our goal.
“We are playing Stars at home so I think we can expect an open and attacking game from start to finish, they are in a bad position and they will be desperate to move out of the relegation zone. They have a strong counter attacking game and they rely heavily on wing play but we have a plan and whoever plays on the day, I know will be the do their best to win for the Club.”