Orlando Pirates will welcome cross-town rivals Kaizer Chiefs today in a MTN8 semi-final second leg showdown at the Orlando Stadium.
The Siya Crew caught up with no-nonsense defender Thabo Matlaba ahead of the game, in what promises to be a tightly contested affair.
The do-or-die fixture comes on the back of Bucs’ semi-final qualification of the CAF Champions League and Matlaba has indicated that the morale within the camp is high.
“The morale is high and we are boosted as we qualified for the semis in the CAF Champions, our confidence is boosted ahead of this crucial game against Chiefs. Our coach (Roger de Sa) told us to forget about the CAF and focus on the PSL especially this crucial encounter. We have to focus on Chiefs now and we need to win the game and go to the final,” said Matlaba.
Taking a 1-0 advantage into the second-leg tie, courtesy of a Daine Klate free-kick, Matlaba says that they will go out and play their normal game on home turf.
“There’s no new plan for them, we know they’ll come attacking and we need to forget that we are leading or playing at home. We just have to focus and play our normal game. We are ready to play in the final,” Matlaba told Siya crew.
Matlaba added that coach Roger de Sa has made it clear that Amakhosi will come out guns blazing and emphasised that they need to remain disciplined and respect their opponents.
“The coach told us to fight, go out and attack them. It’s going to be an open game and I want to ensure our supporters that we will progress to the final,” concluded Matlaba.
The Mighty Buccaneers will go into this encounter without the services of the midfielder Andile Jali, who has been sidelined for six months due to a shoulder injury.
By Phumzile Ngcatshe
Follow Phumzile on Twitter: @Yakuthi