Absa Premiership

Matlaba wary of Stars threat

2015-03-03 15:15
Thabo Matlaba (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates full-back Thabo Matlaba is anticipating a difficult match when they play his former club Free State Stars.

Read: Majoro refuses to back down

The left back says the club where he began his career will always have a special place in his heart but he will not be doing them any favours in the Premiership clash.

"Ea Lla Koto will always hold a special place in my heart, it is where I started my career in football but there is no time for sentiment," the 27-year-old told the Orlando Pirates official website.

"We have a match on Wednesday night against them so the focus has to shift to that.

"Today I am an Orlando Pirates and national team player all because they gave me a platform to start and I will always be grateful for that, but on Wednesday night that will be on hold for 90 minutes."

Matlaba believes that their position on the log has no bearing on the threat they pose to Pirates, because teams always raise their game against the top clubs.

"They are currently placed 13th on the log but that doesn't mean anything in the context of this match.

"I know from personal experience from when I was with them that playing against a big club like Pirates is self-motivating. They are looking forward to the challenge, especially at home.

"Look, they need the points in order to stay clear of the relegation battle, so yes I expect a tough challenge from them.

"They are naturally a defensive side, they like to stay back, absorb the pressure and try and catch teams out on the counter-attack, which has always been their approach when we travel to Charles Mopeli Stadium.

"We respect Free State Stars, they are a physically fit side, they will pose a serious challenge and they will fight hard not to lose at home."

Kick-off is at 19:30.

Read more on:    orlando ­pirates  |  psl  |  thabo matlaba  |  soccer

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