Phunya Sele Sele are pitted against the 2009/2010 winners of the competition, Gavin Hunt’s Bidvest Wits, and the sides square off this afternoon at the Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium.
Although both coaches agree that Cup encounters tend to be a different ball game to league encounters, the team’s recent Premiership results will feature prominently and will no doubt have a lot of influence on the confidence of the teams.
The high-flying Wits are currently third on the Absa Premiership table, while after their 1-0 loss to Mamelodi Sundows, Celtic are eighth. But Middendorp insists that the league has nothing to do with the cup title because it is a “winner takes all” situation.
“This is an important fixture for us,” said Middendorp,” all the cups are gone and this is the only one remaining at this point. We have to go out there and fight, do everything necessary to make sure we come out with the results and progress to the next stage.”
Middendorp added that he plans to rotate his squad in the next few fixtures and insists that the enterprising Gabadinho Mahango will feature prominently.
“Gabadinho is an outstanding striker. He is 20 years old and I found him here and I could see that nobody was responsible for him. So he started showing which position play at the end of last year, and he has been good.
“The willingness of making those runs is there with all of our strikers, not only from Gabadinho, but with also Joel Mogorosi and Trevor Lamola just to mention three; they are really doing a good job. But I have to change little bit.”
Meanwhile, Steve Komphela’s Maritzburg United will run riot with First Division side African Warriors in a bid to secure a semifinal spot. Komphela has managed to steady what appeared to be a sinking ship at United and the coach vowed to give it a full go.