News24

Bucs will be better: Palacios

2012-03-15 18:40

Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates' caretaker coach Augusto Palacios said on Thursday his charges would lift their performance for the Premiership clash against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Pirates would aim to improve on their 3-0 loss to Santos on Wednesday, as they prepared for a home match in front of a sold-out crowd at the 95 000-seater venue.

"The game like last Wednesday night [against Santos] happens in football," Palacios said.

It was the Peruvian's first match in charge since taking over from suspended coach Julio Leal on Monday.

Palacios has also coached at Chiefs and with Bafana Bafana.

"We know what a derby is about and know what it's like to play Chiefs, who have an advantage of not playing midweek," he said.

"But we are taking responsibility for it. I'm putting ideas based on the Pirates style of play. The support that I have been getting from the players so far has been fantastic."

Chiefs' coach Vladimir Vermezovic said his 11th Soweto Derby meeting in three seasons at the club was as special as it was when he took over in 2009.

There is little needed to motivate both sets of players, as not even form matters in the encounter.

"You don't really need too much motivation when you play in it. To me, I'd like to play Pirates every week," the Serbian said.

"Also, position and form will not matter when we play on Saturday. But believe me, we will be ready for this."

Both sides are equal on 33 points with Chiefs second on the log and Pirates third because of a bigger goal difference. However, Amakhosi have a game in hand as both sides chase log-leading Mamelodi Sundowns, who carry 37 points after 19 matches.

Chiefs beat the Buccaneers 2-1 at the same venue earlier this season. They will be bolstered by the injury return of talismanic winger Siphiwe Tshabalala.

Pirates, meanwhile, are uncertain whether captain Lucky Lekgwathi will be fit for the fixture.

SAPA