Kai­tano wary of Pi­rates back­lash

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG. — Su­perS­port United coach Kai­tano Tembo has down­played Or­lando Pi­rates’ re­cent strug­gles and feels they are no longer un­der pres­sure ahead of this week­end’s fix­ture.

Mat­sat­santsa will be vis­it­ing the Or­lando Sta­dium for a sec­ond time this sea­son — this time on a mis­sion to stretch their three­match win­ning streak in the Absa Premiership.

The last meet­ing saw the Buc­ca­neers exit the MTN8 quar­ter-fi­nals af­ter play­ing to a 2-2 draw, but fail­ing to hold their nerve in a penalty shoot-out.

Since then, Pi­rates have suf­fered two de­feats and even­tu­ally man­aged a sec­ond vic­tory in their fifth league out­ing away to Black Leop­ards prior to the in­ter­na­tional break.

That re­sult, Tembo be­lieves, has come as a con­fi­dence boost to Mi­lutin Sre­do­je­vic side, thus there will be no real psy­cho­log­i­cal ad­van­tage for the Tsh­wane side.

“I don’t think they are un­der pres­sure at the mo­ment be­cause they won their last game, so they are con­fi­dent — they played good foot­ball against Black Leop­ards,” said Tembo.

“I think it was a con­fi­dence booster for them af­ter not win­ning for two or three games, so they will be on a high and it won’t be an easy game. It’s go­ing to be very tough for us.”

How­ever, with the FIFA break known to have the abil­ity to dis­rupt teams’ mo­men­tum, the Zim­bab­wean tac­ti­cian is more con­cerned with his own con­tin­gent that stayed be­hind and might be lack­ing sharp­ness lead­ing to the re­turn of do­mes­tic ac­tion.

“We had about seven play­ers who went on na­tional duty — Evans Rusike went to Zim­babwe and Gham­pani Lungu to the Zam­bian na­tional team, who are pay­ing again on Wed­nes­day in Gabon,” Tembo added.

“So he’ll prob­a­bly only be here on Fri­day, and might not even be con­sid­ered for se­lec­tion (against Pi­rates) be­cause of the trav­el­ling. We also had five play­ers in Bafana Bafana.” — Kick-Off.

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