Home Sport Discouraged Bucs braced for Cup action after derby drubbing

Discouraged Bucs braced for Cup action after derby drubbing

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After tasting defeat in the Soweto derby on the weekend, Orlando Pirates are ready to pick up the pieces when they face Marumo Gallants in the Nedbank Cup on Wednesday.

Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids speaks to the media during a press conference ahead of their Nedbank Cup clash against Marumo Gallants
Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids speaks to the media during a press conference ahead of their Nedbank Cup clash against Marumo Gallants. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

After tasting defeat in the Soweto derby on the weekend, Orlando Pirates are ready to pick up the pieces when they face Marumo Gallants in the Nedbank Cup on Wednesday.

Cape Town – Orlando Pirates are ready to pick up the pieces and stake their Nedbank Cup claim in Wednesday’s last-16 round clash against ever-improving Marumo Gallants at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane (kick-off 6pm).

After tasting defeat in the Soweto Derby Premiership clash over the weekend, Pirates will have two cup games this week. Apart from Wednesday’s Nedbank Cup clash, Pirates have a CAF Confederation Cup date with cross-border rivals, Eswatini’s Royal Leopards at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday evening.

“It is always disappointing when you come off a defeat. On top of that, not the first defeat, but the second defeat this season concerning the Soweto derby,” said Fadlu Davids, Pirates’ co-coach.

“It was very important to reset the thinking and not wallow too much in the disappointment of the derby. We must immediately look forward and what is facing us as a team. The in-form Marumo Gallants are a good footballing team and one that you must respect on all fronts.

“It is important to re-focus and to re-energize. We need to get them (players) thinking clear, and about the task lay ahead. Our one goal is to progress to the next round.”

Pirates will call on reinforcements for the clash against Gallants who are on a four-match winning streak.

Midfielder Goodman Mosele and defender Happy Jele have overcome their injuries which sidelined them for the derby and should make the run-on XI.

The key player for Pirates will be Ghanaian striker Kwame Peprah who scored Pirates’ hotly disputed derby goal. He was a constant threat to the opposition defence and tried shots whenever half a chance came his way.

Apart Peprah, the other that will shoulder the brunt of Pirates’ hopes will be Nigerian defender Olisa Ndah who produced a stand-out performance in a losing cause in Saturday’s derby. He bossed the opposition strikers in the aerial battles and stalked into the firing line on occasions.

Ndah’s primary task will be to keep an eye on the lively Gallants trio of Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo, Celimpilo Ngema and Miguel Timm. Ndlondlo is the most dangerous of the trio and has scored a few goals from deep options this season.

Davids says Gallants have blossomed under seasoned coach Dan Malesela.

“Gallants are on a fantastic run, and they have got a clear playing identity,” said Davids.

“It is something that resonates with us as well. With slight differences concerning the intensity we play at and the speed. Malesela has done a fantastic job so far.

“You can only admire and see the coach’s personality comes through in the team. They are a team that does not have too many shots on goal. They prefer possession and creating opportunities.

“Gallants have their possession-based style but it is about how we can implement our style and knowing their weaknesses as well.”

Gallants official Rufus Matsena said the club is in the throes of team building and acknowledged the challenge posed by Pirates

“This is going to be one of the most difficult games that we have played this season,” said Matsena.

“We have an objective to build our team and try to improve our players. We strive to improve our game almost every day and the biggest challenge now is we are facing Pirates.

“You know Pirates is not only the name, the magnitude of the team itself. They have the kind of players that will make it very, very tough. I think we will be equal to the task.”

@Herman_Gibbs

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