Absa Premiership

Chiefs not underestimating Bucs

2014-12-05 10:00
Eric Tinkler (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs are wary of the wounded animal that is Orlando Pirates ahead of their Absa Premiership clash at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

ALSO READ: Yeye relishing derby day.

The Buccaneers are not in the best place at the moment after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Maritzburg United in their midweek league match which consequently ended Vladimir Vermezovic’s reign as their coach.

Now, assistant coach Eric Tinkler has taken charge for the big Soweto Derby as they try to close the 15 point gap between themselves and Chiefs on the table – Pirates are placed seventh on the table with 18 points while the Amakhosi are on top of the log with 33 points.

Still, despite these factors, Chiefs central defender and captain, Tefu Mashamaite says they will not underestimate their cross-town rivals and will pay them due respect on the day.

“The approach is to go there with respect and not to read too much into their situation, we need to be very careful,” said Mashamaite.

“We have to keep reminding each other about not becoming complacent because it’s going to be easy to say we beat Wits and they lost to Maritzburg United.

“They also lost the coach and say okay, let’s chill because we’ll give them a whipping – that’s not going to be the case.

“It’s going to be a different scenario, they’re playing Chiefs and it’s a derby so they know the importance of the history of this match,” added the Bochum-born skipper.

“So we have to simply focus on the game itself.”

Chiefs come into this game high on confidence following a 3-0 drubbing of Bidvest Wits in their midweek league encounter which saw them extend their lead at the top of the table to 11 points.

Speaking ahead of the derby match, stand-in Buccaneers coach Eric Tinkler understands they are the underdogs and the moral in his camp is low, but his players are extremely motivated to get one over their old rivals.

“Yes, we’re going to the match as underdogs because Chiefs are on fire this season, unbeaten and they’re off a fantastic result against Wits,” said Tinkler.

“It’s going to be an extremely tough game for us, our performances haven’t been that great since the passing of Senzo Meyiwa, that was a massive loss to the club.

“The morale of the team has been very low and the confidence as well and now with the coach leaving – it becomes important for me to rebuild that confidence.

“I have to do it in the derby and every player is motivated to play in the derby, you don’t get to play so much in these types of games in your career.”

In head-to-head stats, Pirates and Chiefs have met in 57 league matches since 1985. The Amakhosi have 23 wins compared to 12 for the Buccaneers, while 22 matches have been drawn. Last season the Amakhosi took four points off their Soweto rivals, drawing 1-1 at home and winning 1-0 away.

Kick-off is at 3:30pm.

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates FC fans, remember to send us your fan pics via TwitterFacebook or e-mail your pictures to mysport@sport24.co.za from the Calabash tomorrow and we'll feature you in our gallery!


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