Cape Town - Orlando Pirates striker Thamsanqa Gabuza believes a top-eight finish and a good run in Nedbank Cup is a must for the club after their torrid season.
The Buccaneers ended a 12-game winless streak when they beat ABC Motsepe League side EC Bees 3-1 recently to advance to the Nedbank Cup last 16.
However, Pirates remain without a win in the Premiership since they emerged 2-1 victors against Chippa United on November 22.
With an international FIFA break this weekend, Kjell Jonevret's side will resume league action on April 1 by taking on Free State Stars at James Motlatsi Stadium. They will then lock horns with Ea Lla Koto seven days later in a cup encounter at Goble Park.
"Having played four consecutive draws in our last league games, so our next game against Free State is a must-win for us to redeem ourselves," Gabuza told Vodacom Soccer.
"In fact, we have played better in our last three games before our Nedbank Cup win over EC Bees.
"Some say we beat a lower division team, but the fact is that every win counts in a knockout tournament, because the lower-division sides usually give the top-flight teams a hard time. A simple example is Cape Town City and Ajax (Cape Town)."
Currently sitting 11th position in the table, Bucs are left with 10 games to achieve a top-eight finish, and Gabuza has set his sights on winning the final cup competition of the campaign.
"Yes, our remaining games are not the easy ones if you consider that we are still to face teams fighting relegation like Highlands Park, Baroka and league title contenders (Mamelodi) Sundowns," he added.
"But, we are ready for a challenge and a top-eight finish and Nedbank Cup trophy is a must for us. We may be out of league contention now, but we need to win Nedbank Cup at all costs to bring back smiles on our supporters' faces who have been experiencing a very challenging season."