Cape Town - As the dividing line between Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates solidifies, the two coaches on either side of the divide have expressed their intentions and emotions, while keeping their covert tactics for the game secret.
At the Soweto derby press conference in Auckland Park on Thursday afternoon, Steve Komphela admitted to the pressure that he has to deal with as Amakhosi head coach, even after the team’s midweek turnaround against Mamelodi Sundowns.
“As I’m talking I’m trying to hold my breath, because adrenalin starts to kick in when you realise that there it is again. One thing I can be highly appreciative of at Chiefs, with utmost respect to Pirates, I don’t know how many of my colleagues I have sat next to here, there have been quite a number of them and I have been here seeing them come and go and it is part of the game. It’s massive pressure,” said Komphela, visibly holding back tears.
Milutin Sredojevic, on the other side said he was taking it easy, knowing very well what games of this magnitude mean.
“In front of you is a coach that has coached in very big derbies in each country where I was. Biggest derby of Uganda (Express and S.C Villa), Ethiopia (Saidama Coffe and Saint George), Tanzania (Simba S.C and Young Africans S.C ) and Sudan (All Hilal and Al Merrikh), and that means I’m used to it. Before feeling as coach, I feel as a supporter and feeling as a supporter without any pressure,” said Sredojevic.
Both coaches refused to share any hint on how they planned to achieve the 2-0 scoreline they predicted for their respective teams.
Sredojevic believed that despite his calm demeanour, he understood that the derby comes with a lot of responsibility and that Pirates were aiming for nothing short of a victory.
“Here we are seeing something phenomenal, where families are divided in yellow and black. But the love for the game is connecting and uniting South Africans and I hope South Africa keep this for years and years to come because it is very special. With the biggest amount of responsibility, I try to take care of any details that could make the moment of brilliance to be on our side. I believe in my players and I believe in what we are doing,” said Sredojevic.
The country’s biggest fixture will be taking place at the FNB Stadium on Saturday and supporters have been asked to arrive early, well before the kick-off to avoid a repeat of the problems experienced at the Carling Black Label clash in July.
Kick-off is at 15:30.